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  1. #1
    jiaruchan is offline Member
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    Have bought/Have had for a few years

    I have bought the furniture for a few years.
    I have had the furniture for a few years.

    ---

    I know both sentences are a little weird. One could have said 'I bought the furniture a few years ago' to mean the same thing. Why not? However, those two lines are frequently used by Chinese English teachers to test if the students understand the present perfect tense. They define the first one is wrong, and the other is correct.

    Is that right that we should not use 'have bought something for some time'?

  2. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    I have bought the furniture for a few years.
    I have had the furniture for a few years.

    ---

    I know both sentences are a little weird. One could have said 'I bought the furniture a few years ago' to mean the same thing. Why not? However, those two lines are frequently used by Chinese English teachers to test if the students understand the present perfect tense. They define the first one is wrong, and the other is correct.

    Is that right that we should not use 'have bought something for some time'?
    Yes, that's right, the first one is wrong and the second is correct.

  3. #3
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    I have bought the furniture for a few years.
    I have had the furniture for a few years.

    ---

    I know both sentences are a little weird. One could have said 'I bought the furniture a few years ago' to mean the same thing. Why not? However, those two lines are frequently used by Chinese English teachers to test if the students understand the present perfect tense. They define the first one is wrong, and the other is correct.

    Is that right that we should not use 'have bought something for some time'?
    Well, "I have bought the furniture for a few years" means that your intention is to have the furniture for a period of time ( a few years), but don't intend to have it in the future. If it's that what you want to say, then its fine..odd...but correct

    However, "I have had the furniture for a few years" is that the sentence your teachers say is wrong?. Because I find it correct, it means that you had the same furniture years ago and still have it.

  4. #4
    jiaruchan is offline Member
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    By the way, can 'I have had the furniture for a few years' reflect the meaning 'I bought the furniture a few years ago'?

  5. #5
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    By the way, can 'I have had the furniture for a few years' reflect the meaning 'I bought the furniture a few years ago'?
    Yes, it can.

  6. #6
    jiaruchan is offline Member
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Correct me if I am wrong:

    We can use 'I have bought', but not 'I have bought for a certain time'.

    For example:

    wife--Let me go out to buy some tomato sauce.
    husband--You don't have to. I have bought some.

    In the above case, is the present perfect tense 'have bought' acceptable?

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by jiaruchan View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong:

    We can use 'I have bought', but not 'I have bought for a certain time'.

    For example:

    wife--Let me go out to buy some tomato sauce.
    husband--You don't have to. I have bought some.

    In the above case, is the present perfect tense 'have bought' acceptable?
    Yes, it's correct. You couldn't say "I have bought some for 2 hours", for example.

  8. #8
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by MASM View Post
    Well, "I have bought the furniture for a few years" means that your intention is to have the furniture for a period of time ( a few years), but don't intend to have it in the future. If it's that what you want to say, then its fine..odd...but correct
    There is another context in which 'I have bought the furniture for a few years.' would be correct.
    In this context, the meaning is 'I have been buying the furniture for a few years.' (buying it for my company)

    The grammar is the same as 'I have lived in China for a few years.'

  9. #9
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    There is another context in which 'I have bought the furniture for a few years.' would be correct.
    In this context, the meaning is 'I have been buying the furniture for a few years.' (buying it for my company)

    The grammar is the same as 'I have lived in China for a few years.'
    I would disagree with that. If your job is to buy furniture for a company, then there are 2 possibilities:

    You are still doing the job: I have been buying furniture for a few years.

    You used to do the job: I bought furniture for a few years.

    But you couldn't use "have bought" in either case.

  10. #10
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    Re: Have bought/Have had for a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would disagree with that. If your job is to buy furniture for a company, then there are 2 possibilities:

    You are still doing the job: I have been buying furniture for a few years.

    You used to do the job: I bought furniture for a few years.

    But you couldn't use "have bought" in either case.
    If you have an unpacked set of furniture from Ikea and someone asks you about it you could use "I have bought furniture for a few years"

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