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Using “History” in OET

Suppose your patient Mr Parker was admitted due to stroke in 2015. So, how will you write?

  • Mr Parker has a history of stroke?
  • Mr Parker had a history of stroke?
  • Mr Parker has had a history of stroke?

You may think it is “had” a history or “has had” a history because the word “history” refers to a past time. But, is it correct?

No. We mostly write “history” in present tense. However, there are times when you may have to write “She had a history…” when the condition is never recurrent.

  • Ms Lee had a history of short-term memory from 2010 to 2011.

We use “had a history” when:

  • the patient is not more experiencing the issue;
  • the patient is no more in the risk of the condition.

Clear? Get your score below:

  1. Well, Mr Joe ________ a history of smallpox for three months in 1998.
  2. Most of the family members ______ a history renal failure for 5 to 10 years.

Written by Biju John

Love for English begins with understanding its unknown rules. Biju John lives on the internet, teaching OET, IELTS and PTE. More than a million students have thanked him from their heart.

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5 Tense Issues