Suppose I have a thing. I've acquired the thing many years ago but still have it. As far as I know, a correct phrase describing the said situation would be:

I've been having this thing for years.

And if I use the following:

I've had this thing for years.

It doesn't imply that I still have it. Am I correct? If so, can I use the following phrase instead of the first?

I have this thing for years.

Is it allowed?

  • What is AFAIK supposed to mean?
    – BillJ
    Oct 2, 2018 at 7:57
  • @BillJ, "as far as I know". Sorry, I thought it is universally known.
    – ixSci
    Oct 2, 2018 at 7:59
  • Please don't use abbreviations like that, as some people (like me) are not familiar with them.
    – BillJ
    Oct 2, 2018 at 8:01

1 Answer 1


If something started in the past and continuous to the present you use the present perfect tense, either simple or continuous. I have had it for years, meaning I have owned it for years, can only be used in the simple form. You had it in the past and you still have it in the present. In English you cannot say I have it for years. Either you have had it for years or you will have it for years (in the future).

  • Why only the simple version? How can you imply that you actually still have it with that form? "I've had it for years" might just as well mean that you don't have it anymore.
    – ixSci
    Oct 3, 2018 at 12:10
  • No, then you'd say: I had it for years. Simple past if something started and finished in the past.
    – anouk
    Oct 3, 2018 at 16:29

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