1. I've been on vacation for two days.

What does this sentence mean? I mean, it means that the action happened in the past and ended in the past but has no specific date. But it also means that I'm still on vacation.

I've, many times, heard people say, for instance,

  1. I was on vacation for two days.

And this one means it ended in the past and has no impact on the present.
Can 'for' also be used with the past tense? I'm super confused. Would anyone please explain to me?


1 Answer 1


I have asked this question on this forum as well.

In general "I have been on vacation for two days" means either you arrived two days ago and you are still on vacation or you have recently returned from your vacation and there is some connection to the present. For example, someone comments on your tan and you say: "I have been on vacation for two days".

"I was on vacation for two days" has no connection to the present and the vacation took place in the past. Note that "the past" can be recent, like a few days ago. For example: "I missed the meeting last week because I was on vacation for two days."

  • 1
    Good answer. In other words, "have been on vacation" is present perfect, and describes the present condition (of having been on vacation). "Was on vacation" is past simple and describes a past event. Jul 21, 2019 at 20:39

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