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Question
Dear Ted:

Suppose that today is Monday, what should I say/write, "I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I HAD a bad week" or "I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I HAVE HAD a bad week"?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Suppose that today is Monday, what should I say/write, "I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I HAD a bad week" or "I'm sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but I HAVE HAD a bad week"?

***

If you mean that LAST week is now over, I would use the first option.  However, if [on Monday]
you are thinking about the previous days, then I would opt for the second version.

Paolo, if [on Monday], you are continuing to experience the same problems you had in the
previous few days, you need to use the present progressive form, to indicate that the
problems are continuing:  I have been having a bad week.

However, if your bad week is now over and you want to emphasize that fact, you should use
the simple past tense.  I HAD a bad week.  Another way of clarifying the time period is
to write, "Last week was very bad for me."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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