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I think the following sentence might be wrong since "been" used in present perfect. Don't you?

They have been married in five years.

I think this should be fixed as this:

They have married in five years.

13

It should either read:

They have been married for five years

(which means their wedding day was five years ago), or:

They will be married in five years

(which means their wedding will happen five years from now).

Notice the change in preposition, from for (when referring to the past) to in (when referring to the future).

As an aside, that's one heckuva long engagement...

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    Off-topic, but I was engaged for 7 years, so 5 seems quite a rush :P – oerkelens Sep 17 '14 at 10:09
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    "They will marry in five years" is fine. "They have married for 5 years" is not; the word married, when used to describe the state of a couple, uses have been married, not have married. – J.R. Sep 17 '14 at 11:29
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    @user1917217 In the case of when they are now divorced, you would say "They were married for five years." – StoneyB Sep 17 '14 at 12:21
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    There are only 2 cases where "They have married for 5 years" is correct: either their marriage ceremony lasted 5 years, or "they" are church member or civil servants that have spent the last 5 years uniting people in marriage. – Nzall Sep 17 '14 at 12:32
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    But note you could say, "They married 5 years ago." – Jay Sep 17 '14 at 18:04
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Perhaps the confusion here is the difference between married as a verb, or as an adjective.

"Married" can be an adjective referring to the state of a person or couple, being the opposite of single. These two people are married. These two people are a married couple. I am married. I am married to a wonderful person. In this case you can use the word "for" to indicate the period of time during which they were married. They have been married for five years. They were married for five years, before getting divorced. She and I were married for five years before she passed away.

"Marry" is also a verb referring to the process of changing from being single to being married, usually by means of a wedding ceremony. In this case you can use the word married to refer to this in the past tense. Today is my wedding anniversary, my wife and I were married five years ago today. You can also use the word "in" to refer to this event in the future. My fiancee and I will be married in five years, after we graduate from university. They will marry in five years.

Some of the other posts and comments might be confusing by referring to another meaning of "marry". Marry can also be a verb referring to the person who performs a wedding ceremony. The rabbi married the couple. The captain of a ship can marry people. In this context the sentence "They have married for 5 years" could be construed to mean "There are some people, (a group of priests for example), that have been marrying various couples over a period of five years." So whereas your sentence is technically correct in that context, no one would ever say it that way.

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    To use it as a verb, your sentences could be "... my wife and I married five years ago today." and "My fiancee and I will marry in five years." – GalacticCowboy Sep 17 '14 at 15:35
  • Good point, Galactic. – user1008646 Sep 17 '14 at 17:25

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