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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    Have had

    Hello,
    In order not to get punished by Kondorosi, I will create a new thread
    (Don't worry, I'm just joking )

    We discussed about the topic "have had" a while ago.
    We agreed that
    "I have been having a car for 3 days" is wrong, and that
    "I have had a car for 3 days" is right.
    However, to me it sounds like once I had this car (past), but now (present) I do not have it anymore!
    If this would be the case (that I do not have the car anymore), how would I have to write it?
    Just:
    "I had a car for 3 days, but now I do not have it anymore because of a crash". ?
    I guess and I hope it's correct, but a confirmation would be nice anyway.

    Cheers!


  2. Offroad's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Have had

    I would stick with the 'have'.

    Your sentence is similar to:

    I know them for years.
    I have known them for years.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Have had

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    In order not to get punished by Kondorosi, I will create a new thread
    (Don't worry, I'm just joking )

    We discussed about the topic "have had" a while ago.
    We agreed that
    "I have been having a car for 3 days" is wrong, and that
    "I have had a car for 3 days" is right.
    However, to me it sounds like once I had this car (past), but now (present) I do not have it anymore!
    If this would be the case (that I do not have the car anymore), how would I have to write it?
    Just:
    "I had a car for 3 days, but now I do not have it anymore because of a crash". ?
    I guess and I hope it's correct, but a confirmation would be nice anyway.

    Cheers!

    Yes, if I understand your post, this is exactly right.
    "I've had a car for three days" means you still have it.
    "I had a car for three days" means you no longer have it.

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    #4

    Re: Have had

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "I've had a car for three days" means you still have it.
    Sorry to be picky, but while it most commonly means this, it does not necessarily mean it!

    If I were someone who regularly bought and kept cars for only a very short time, perhaps always selling them on quickly to make a profit, and were telling you of the very shortest period during which I have retained ownership of a car - let us say as some kind of personal 'record' - I might well say the above sentence even though the three-day period in question could actually have expired long ago.

    The ambiguity here arises from the fact that, unlike 'since', which in combination with a present perfect automatically relates the event or condition to the present time of utterance, 'for' does not always do so.

    Naturally, common sense will generally allow us to determine fairly quickly whether a for-phrase relates to a completed period, but there may be cases where ambiguity is possible, so some care is advisable!
    Last edited by philo2009; 18-Dec-2009 at 08:13.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Have had

    Yes, philo is right. I was giving the short answer.

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