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  1. #1
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    Default Married and Graduated question

    I have been married for 5 years.
    I have been graduated for 5 years.

    Why can't we say that we've been graduated for so long? The only explanation that I could think of is that when we talk about being married, we focus on the joining of two people and not so much the ceremony.

    When we talk about graduating, we focus on the ceremony and think of it as an instant in time, not something that can be carried on through the years like "married" can.

    No one can seem to give me a concrete answer as to why we can't say "I have been graduated for 5 years." Can someone tell me why this is? Thanks

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Married and Graduated question

    Hello Bboy, welcome to Using English!

    I think you're essentially correct, when you say "When we talk about graduating, we focus on the ceremony and think of it as an instant in time, not something that can be carried on through the years like 'married' can."

    Here are the equivalent pairs:

    1a. I have been | married for 5 years.
    1b. I have been | a graduate for 5 years.
    both express a state.

    2a. I got married | 5 years ago.
    2b. I graduated | 5 years ago.
    both express an action.

    Does that help at all?

    MrP

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Married and Graduated question

    Thanks for the welcome!

    I think I understand it more now. We can't say "I have been graduated for 5 years" because graduating is used to express a state while marriage is used to express an ongoing state... right?

    Are there any more examples of words like these two?

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Married and Graduated question

    Hello Bboy

    I think it's rather that "to be married" expresses the state of marriage, whereas "to graduate" expresses the action of becoming a graduate.

    If you were to say "I was graduated 5 years ago", however, it would suggest that someone had somehow "graduated" you. This sense doesn't normally exist (no one can "graduate" someone).

    As for more examples, did you mean examples of verbs that express states?

    All the best,

    MrP

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