Let's say you sold your car 1 year ago.

Would you say:

I'm sad I sold my car. I have had it for a long time.

Or just

I'm sad I sold my car. I had it for a long time.

Are they both correct? I thought only the last one is correct because he doesn't have the car anymore, hence there is no connection to the present.

  • 1
    Both are fine if the sale just happened. But if it's been months or years since the sale of the car, you would not say have had, you would just say had. That's because it's something that clearly happened in the distant past. Even though the replacement in the sentence doesn't work, think of have had as just had. (Have had is also appropriate if you still have it.) May 8 '20 at 21:52

Both are grammatically correct, but mean different things. "I have had it for a long time" means that you still have it.

So in the case of your sold car, you would be correct to say:

I'm sad I sold my car. I had it for a long time.

... unless you had agreed on the sale and the car was still in your possession - in that scenario you might speak of it as if it was still there.

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