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I have received a letter every month for ten years.

It is correct?

Because I can't understand that it wants to mean

1.I have received a letter in the last ten years.

Or

2.It has been ten years since I received that letter.

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  • 5
    Neither version with for is correct. You can say "I haven't received a letter for ten years", because "not receiving a letter" is something you were doing continuously for all that time. Actually receiving a letter is a time-limited action, which you can't do for any length of time. Apr 2 at 3:24
  • Yes @FumbleFingers
    – Thamilay
    Apr 2 at 5:00
  • If you found this line somewhere, please use the "Edit" button to tell more about the source. Maybe we can give a more useful answer than "this construction doesn't make sense." Apr 2 at 20:48
  • Yes, I have edited as @KateBunting said@Andy Bonner.
    – Thamilay
    Apr 3 at 2:26

1 Answer 1

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If you say "I have received a letter for ten years" then the assumed meaning is you've received a letter in some sort of frequency (and always only one letter each time), and has been for 10 years. The frequency being frequent enough and the letters similar enough that one can draw the assumption it's for the same purpose

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  • I think that the sentence should change PPC then it would be acceptable "I have been receiving the letter for ten years".@Raestloz
    – Thamilay
    Apr 2 at 5:04
  • I do not believe so. The implied meaning from your sentence is you'be been receiving that exact singular letter for 10 years, not "letters with the same content" but there has only ever been a single instance of the letter. The OP's sentence implies the letters are different instances, and you can see them all at the same time.
    – Raestloz
    Apr 2 at 5:19
  • Yes , I accept your explanation. @Raestloz
    – Thamilay
    Apr 2 at 6:23
  • But the sentence only sounds natural if it includes the frequency - "I've received a letter every January for ten years" and is in the context of a conversation which makes it clear what kind of letter is meant. Apr 2 at 7:57
  • What @KateBunting said. Contexts in which unqualified singular a letter might be acceptable are so unlikely that on a learners site it makes more sense to just say the contraction is invalid. I don't much like "I have received letters for ten years" anyway though - I think most native speakers would more naturally use Continuous Perfect "I've been receiving letters for ten years" to emphasize the duration / persistence right up until time of utterance. Apr 2 at 9:28

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