# The Central Bank will reduce the key rate for 2 years

They were married for 70 years. They got married 78 years ago and died 8 years ago.

Here the past simple with "for" refers to the whole action - 70 years.

Yesterday, they got married for five years. (knowing that they're getting divorced five years later) (unusual situation - focus on grammar)

Here the past simple with "for" refers to one single fast action (getting married) the result of which (being married) will last for 5 years.

So, we've seen two completely different using of 'for + a period of time'. In my language they are even translated with two different prepositions.

So, I've got a question, if somebody says the sentence:

The Central Bank will reduce the key rate for 2 years.

does it mean that 1) The Central Bank will reduce the key rate instantly and the low key rate will last for only 2 years, OR 2) The Central Bank will reduce the key rate gradually and the maximum reduction will be at the end of these two years and will (probably) last for many years after. And how to express the other meaning?

• If (2) was intended, we would say The Central Bank will gradually reduce the key rate over the next two years. Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 15:38
• @KateBunting would this work? The Central Bank will be reducing the key rate for two years. Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 16:23
• That's ambiguous, though I think most people would assume that the reduced rate will last for 2 years. Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 16:26
• Your second example is quite odd, and a rather unusual scenario. You may have to explain it more. I don't think if it would be understood that way on its own without further context. Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 16:38
• @BillyKerr I would add that it makes no sense grammatically either. Something that happened yesterday can't be "for five years." "They got married for 5 years" means "they spent 5 years getting married" (which couldn't have all happened yesterday) Commented Jun 29, 2022 at 19:43

Your question was about: The Central Bank will reduce the rate for a period of two years.

It means it intends to reduce the rate and that will last for two years.

It does not mean 2). For that you have to say something like:

The Central Bank will reduce the rate to [x] over a period of two years and that will be the rate for many years to come.

for + a period of time is just that. What changes is the verb tense:

• They owned the car for two years. [now they don]t
• They were playing tennis for hours yesterday afternoon. [now they are not]
• I've seen him for two-hours a day for six-weeks.
• Will you be staying for two nights?

The meaning of for plus a period of time always has the same meaning.