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If I am writing the sentence "But with this system I can indicate how many days it exists"

With it I mean a file for on your computer.

Is this sentence right or should it be without the s because the s is already in the day(s)?

So confused, searched some forums but I hope someone can explain it to me!

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The 's' in days has no correlation to the verb itself.

I'm not really sure what your sentence was supposed to mean, but I will try to further my thinking here. "to exist" indicates that the file exists or as you used it: it exists. So in the case of using the present simple tense, your sentence is just fine.

However, two other forms of the verb would be more suitable for that sentence.

First case: The file has been existing for some days and you want to calculate the number of those days. The present perfect tense is more suitable because of the ongoing action from the past that is continued now.

Second case: The file will exist for some days and you want to know how many days it'll be. The change in meaning is enormous, but your sentence is not necessarily clear.

All in all, I think the first case is the context you meant to put it in, sothe full sentence will be:

But with this system I can indicate how many days it has been existing.

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  • "has existed" better than "has been existing" in each of those cases – Ben Jackson Dec 23 '18 at 0:28
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  • But with this system I can indicate how many days it exists.
  • But with this system I can indicate how many days it has existed.
  • But with this system I can indicate how many days it has been present.
  • But with this system I can indicate how many days old it is.

The file's age can be represented in days, weeks, months, or years. (implied existence) Sometimes it is easier to use alternative vocabulary to make the same point.

Exist or Exists is a matter of past, present, and future with indirect context.

Past: The file was not found. Did it ever exist? It never existed. Has been (existing) is a reference to previously existed and currently exists. Comparing the creation and modification time stamp indicates the file existed without change, for 17 days. (Current existence is implied.)

Present: The file does exist. It exists, in the $HOME directory. Does the file exist? No, the file does not exist. (Or no longer exists.) The file continues to exist where I created it. The file is not expected to exist in any other location.

Future: The file will still exist tomorrow. The file is deprecated and will not exist in the next release. The file might exist in the future. How long the file exists is up to you. How long the file will exist is up to the user.

Example: A file which exists today, has existed for 137 days. It will probably exist for another 10 years.

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