3

Please help me to choose the right answer.

You and your friend are approaching an old restaurant..

1) Which is still open and running. You stare at the restaurant and your friend says "what is it"? You say...

  1. "I worked here for years"
  2. "I have worked here for years"
  3. "I had worked here for years"

2) Which is abandoned now.You stare at the restaurant and your friend says "what is it"? You say...

  1. "I worked here for years"
  2. "I have worked here for years"
  3. "I had worked here for years"

3) Which is on fire now.You stare at the restaurant and your friend says "what is it"? You say...

  1. "I worked here for years"
  2. "I have worked here for years"
  3. "I had worked here for years"

Thanks in advance.

  • 2
    It mostly depends on whether you still work there or not. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 9 '14 at 17:05
  • 2
    Then in all cases you use the simple past, I worked. You are making a statement about your experience, which was completed in the past and does not constitute a current state. The current condition of the restaurant is irrelevant. – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 9 '14 at 17:10
  • 1
    What do you understand as the main differences between the tenses you propose (proposed in the answers)? – JMB Mar 9 '14 at 17:10
  • 1
    If you were still working there you would say "I have worked there for years" or "I have been working there for years". – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 9 '14 at 17:12
  • 3
    To use past perfect you would need an explicit past 'Reference Time' (see here), such as "I had worked there for years when it closed". – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 9 '14 at 17:28
1

You are speaking about your experience up to the present moment, and that is not affected by the current state of the restaurant.

Consequently, you use the present perfect if your employment at the restaurant there runs right up to the present moment (even though it appears that you will not be working there in the future):

I have worked here for years. OR I have been working here for years. (The contemporary language is trending toward the progressive construction since you are speaking of a continuously repeated action.)

If your employment ended at some time in the past, you use the simple past, indicating a completed action:

I worked here for years.

You would use the past perfect only if you were speaking about some past Reference Time which lay at the end of or after the period of your employment. For instance:

I remember when this place closed. I had worked here for years.

Your Answer

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