Pep­pered with ‘like’

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIFESTYLE -

adopted the us­age of past per­fect tense in this con­text due to the for­mal na­ture of the pro­posal. – VF First of all, let me say that us­ing the past per­fect tense does NOT make a doc­u­ment sound more for­mal. A past per­fect tense is used to dis­tin­guish be­tween two dif­fer­ent times in the past. The ear­lier ac­tion is expressed in the past per­fect tense, and the later ac­tion in the sim­ple past tense. I don’t know the con­text of your pro­posal, so I can’t com­ment on whether you are us­ing the past per­fect tense rightly or wrongly.

If it is not nec­es­sary for you to use the past per­fect tense, you should ex­press your­self as fol­lows, in the present per­fect tense:

“The bor­rower has made a writ­ten request to the bank ...”

But use the sim­ple past tense if you are writ­ing the pre­cise date of the “writ­ten request”, e.g. “The bor­rower made a writ­ten request to the bank on 15 June this year.”

Yes, re­quests have to be made, not pro­vided. And please don’t say “writ­ten request let­ter”.

It is un­der­stood that a writ­ten request must take the form of a let­ter of some sort. If you don’t want read­ers of your pro­posal to think the request was made in a memo or a note, you can say “for­mal writ­ten request”.

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