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  1. #1
    birgit33 is offline Member
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    Default "I knew him for three years."

    "I knew him for 3 years." Is this incorrect and does it have to be "I have known him for 3 years"?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: "I knew him for three years."

    Is he dead?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    birgit33 is offline Member
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    Default Re: "I knew him for three years."

    He sadly passed away...

  4. #4
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Default Re: "I knew him for three years."

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Is he dead?

    Sorry, but what does that have to do with it?

    I could say 'I knew Joe Blow for 3 years. Then he moved away'.

    I would use 'knew' because you may/may not know him after he moved away.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: "I knew him for three years."

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    Sorry, but what does that have to do with it?
    Obviously, to many of us at least, quite a bit. His demise is one clear reason for using the past simple. There are others, as you pointed out, but you seem to suggest that Barb's question was irrelevant. I would have posted a similar message if Barb had not got there first.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 08-May-2013 at 11:59.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: "I knew him for three years."

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    Sorry, but what does that have to do with it?
    It doesn't necessarily make a difference. But it is a way of letting the OP know that such a factor plays a role in the syntax. The OP then thinks about the question, and realises other contextual factors that may be relevant.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: "I knew him for three years."

    Quote Originally Posted by birgit33 View Post
    He sadly passed away...
    Then you knew him for three years.

    The present perfect (I have known him) is suitable only when you continue to know him now and possibly into the future.

    Sorry for your loss.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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