Can "died" replace "has died"?

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The former chairman and chief executive officer of Singapore bank UOB, Wee Cho Yaw, has died today at the age of 95 years old.

Can “died” replace “has died”?



Yes, it can. When you refer to an action that happened at a specific time during the day, use the past simple. When you want to emphasize that an action is still connected to the present, use the present perfect. So, it all depends on how you interpret the situation.

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I’ve found a snapshot of BBC Ceefax. Firstly, you see the headline of the news bulletin, secondly the beginning written in the present perfect and thirdly the middle and end.


Ofcourse the snapshot is old, since BBC Ceefax no longer exists. But just to give you an example of how these tenses can be used.

If you can’t read it properly, here’s what is says:


Three men have appeared in court charged with disposing of the body of a Lincolnshire restaurateur.
The partial remains of Rumel Bakar, who went missing in December, were found by the A17 in south Lincolnshire in April.

Anthony Falco, 43, Martin Barlow, 44, and William Mara, 33, of Lincoln, were remanded in custody until August 14.

All three are also alleged to have impeded the apprehension of two men charged with Mr. Bakar’s murder.


By the way, both tenses are possible in many contexts.

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  • Yes. But the correct and better sentence can be either of the following:
  1. KUALA LUMPUR, February 3 — Wee Cho Yaw, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Singapore bank, UOB, has died today; he was 95 years old.

  2. KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The former chairman and chief executive officer of Singapore bank UOB, Wee Cho Yaw, died, at the age of 95, today.

  • (The phrase “at the age of 95 years old” is redundant and ungrammatical.
    Say, ‘at the age of 95’, or ‘at 95 years of age’ or ‘he was 95’ or ‘he was 95 years old’.
    The use of ‘has died’ or ‘died’ is grammatical and correct.
    In BrE, the present perfect is used to refer to the activities of the same day while,
    in AmE, the past simple is preferred.)

Yes, ofcourse, my dear friend. However, your post contains a more detailed explanation than mine, as it were. However, as we all know, Kohyoongliat always likes more elaborate explanations. I’m sure he’ll like your post. I don’t want to be impertinent - no, that is not my intention, because I respect you enormously and highly esteem your knowledge of the English language and the professionalism with which you bring it here. Impeccable! - truly so. I just thought that needed saying, that’s all.

Kind regards,
Your dear, but snotty forever adolescent,
Marc :innocent:


Thank you, Marc!


Oh, you’re so kind, Lawrence. And I always say: ‘Give credit where credit is due.’