2

I would like to know precisely how to describe the length of actions throughout time. I also would like to know the situation with "Be" sentences. Is it always this way: "I am hungry for two hours" - incorrect. "I've been hungry for two hours" - correct.

You can either say "I worked here for two years" or "I have worked here for two years". So, my question now is would be both variants correct, considering that you still have the job in this moment?

And the same question with the verb "know". Are the both variants "I've known her for two years" and "I knew her for two years" correct, considering that you are still in touch whith the person?

  • Originally it was that you can either say "I worked here for two years" or "I have worked here for two years". So, my question now is would be both variants correct, considering that you still have the job in this moment? – Fyodor Sep 16 '17 at 17:26
  • And the same question with the verb "know". Are the both variants "I've known her for two years" and "I knew her for two years" correct, considering that you are still in touch whith the person? – Fyodor Sep 16 '17 at 17:30
  • 1
    @Fyodor In both instances we would ordinarily use the perfect: the simple past implies that the eventuality is over-and-done-with, you no longer work there or maintain contact with her. – StoneyB Sep 16 '17 at 18:08
0

I've worked here for two years usually means "I've worked here for two years and I still do". Occasionally it might simply express express the continued relevance of the past to the present, e.g. "I've worked here for two years - but I've just been fired". Without the expression of time, it could similarly express the relevance of a past event: "Have you ever worked here before?" / "I've worked here before, about a decade ago. I'd be grateful if you'd consider giving me a job here again now."

I worked here for two years usually means "I worked here for two years, at some time in the past, and I no longer do". Depending on context, it could also describe a situation where the speaker still works there today - e.g. (1) "I worked here for two years before Bob left - and I've worked here for five more years since then"; or (2) "I worked here for two years in the 1990s, then I left - and now I'm back again".

I've known her for two years means "I've known her for two years, and I still do".

I knew her for two years usually means "I knew her for two years, at some point in the past, and I no longer know her". Depending on context, it could also describe a situation where you still know her - e.g. "I knew her for two years before she got married (and I've known her for a further three years since then)".

Similarly, I've been hungry for two hours usually expresses continued hunger, while I was hungry for two hours describes the duration of past hunger.

I am hungry for two hours would only make sense if you were describing a regular event or consequence, e.g. "I am hungry for two hours every day between 4 and 6 pm!" or "If I skip lunch I find that I am hungry in the afternoons".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.