# how long have the eggs been boiled

Which make sense in the following context?

How long have the eggs been boiled?

How long has it been since the eggs were boiled?

How long has it been since the eggs've been boiled?

Seven days.

They must have gone bad. Let's get rid of them.

• The more natural way to ask would be "How old are those boiled eggs?" but if I had to pick one of your options, I'd go with the second.
– Katy
Jan 2, 2022 at 23:56

## 2 Answers

"How long have the eggs been boiled?" is how one inquires the length of time the eggs were immersed in boiling water (e.g., 10 minutes for hard-boiled).

Both, "How long has it been since the eggs were boiled?" and "How long has it been since the eggs've been boiled?" are equivalent to asking "How many days has it been since the eggs were cooked?"

• Thank you. But for the inquiry you mentioned first, isn't it better to ask to How long have the eggs been boiling? Jan 3, 2022 at 2:17
• @Stephen. those are two different questions: "How long have the eggs been boiling?" is in the present, i.e., they're still in the pot. ""How long have the eggs been boiled?" is in the past -- they're being served, perhaps. Are they coddled or hard-boiled? Jan 3, 2022 at 2:21
• Thank you. But if they're being served, shouldn't the question be how long were the eggs boiled? They were boiled for ten minutes. Jan 3, 2022 at 4:17
• Both are correct. Jan 3, 2022 at 18:20
• I've been thinking about this question How long have the eggs been boiled for two days, but still can't understand why the question is valid if the eggs have been picked out of the pot. How long have you watched TV implies you're still watching TV, for example. How long has it rained implies it's still raining. Why does How long have the eggs been boiled mean the boiling of eggs has stopped, instead of being still ongoing? Jan 6, 2022 at 13:18

How long have the eggs been boiled?

This question asks how long the eggs spent in boiling water with no indication of when they were boiled.

How long has it been since the eggs were boiled?

This question asks when the eggs were boiled, with no indication of how long they were in the boiling water. It treats cooking the eggs as a single "instant" event. This is the correct way to fill in the blank in your conversation.

How long has it been since the eggs have been boiled?

This sentence is ungrammatical. The conjunction "since" must be followed by a single point in the past, but by definition, present perfect is a present tense, so cannot indicate a finished past time.