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Hi teachers,
My grammar book says the present perfect is used with "Until now", but why do they use the past perfect in the following sentence that I have picked up from a British newspaper

The West Country – where the Ministry of Defense has a number of high-security establishments – had until now only been considered "a low risk."

Thank you in advance
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Are you sure it was a British newspaper? Defense is an American spelling. I see nothing wrong with using until now with had been considered.
CB
Thank you Cool Breeze,but could you please explain why"the past perfect"is used here, whynot"presnt perfect"?I know this sentence cannot be wrong because it was written by a native speakers' newspaper.Another sentence from the U.S TIMES:

The American Heart Association had until now listed obesity as a contributing factor to heart disease

Again, why not"....has until now listed..."?

Best wishes
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This is pretty advanced usage of the perfect aspect.  Unfortunately there are so many ifs and buts about tenses that it takes several chapters in a book to go through them all in detail.  The difference in meaning is slight.  'Had been' suggests that it is completed; in other words, it is no longer true.  'Has been' tells us only about up until now; it tells us nothing about the future.  "Has been' could indicate that it is no longer true, but it could indicate that it is still true.
Hi,

I think the perfect aspect use of the original example by the original poster is in the similar vein as I think is this mixed conditional use. I think the past perfect part here indicates what is hypothetical in the past, but similar in the overall working/concept. As you said, a present perfect is (can be) used to denote what is no longer true, but the use of past perfect is what is often used.

I would be rolling in the cash stacks had I been more diligent in my studies when I was attending college. -- I think this indicates what you would be like in the present if a past hypothetical situation were made true.

1. I would give you some money had I had some money. -- I think this is very similar in concept to what you were saying about something no longer being true.

We could have written it like this:

2. I would give you some money if I had some money.

But the first version is more clear about his no longer having the money and that being the case for his inability to give any money.
Hi Richard_s ,
If so,can I say as below?:

I have been friendly to him until now( to I mean I am still friendly to him now)
I had been friendly to him until now (to mean I was friendly to him in the past and I am no longer friendly to him now)

Could you possibly tell me whether these two sentences are correct and sound natural to native speakers? If not, please help me use the tenses correctly.

Thank you in advance
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Anonymous1. I would give you some money had I had some money. -- I think this is very similar in concept to what you were saying about something no longer being true.
That's a hypothesis of the past. What's posted above, on the other hand, is not. It is indicative. It tells us that the West Country used to be considered low risk [by someone] but now it is considered a higher risk. This is fact right the way along the timeline; there is no hypothesis involved.
This is pretty much correct. The second sentence is definitely fine. Actually, the 'until now' is redundant in the first sentence.  Also, it might be more natural to use the perfect continuous in this sentence.  Perfect continuous is used to show that an action continues until now, except with stative verbs and reporting verbs (such as 'consider' which was used in the original sentence).  The present perfect usually has this meaning when it is combined with a time reference given by 'since' or 'for', but otherwise indicates a relationship between a past event and a present event.

(I hope that's not too confusing!)
richard_sit might be more natural to use the perfect continuous in this sentence.
Could you post an example of that.
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