2

The question is so basic that I'm not even sure how to express the nature of my problem. Still, it confounded me to the point I just had to ask it here.

Is there any grammar issue in any of the following sentences? Or are they all considered correct and idiomatic English?

  1. I'm here for just a month.

  2. I'm staying here for a month.

  3. I will stay here for a month.

  4. I am going to stay here for a month.

  5. I will be staying here for a month.

I'm asking mainly because I've found an opinion on another language forum, stating that both 1. and 3. sound awkward - yet I can't understand why.

  • 1
    My first thought was that I'm only here for a month seems far more "natural" to me than any of these suggestions. Checking Google Books I find it occurs 122 times, but there's only a single written instance of I'm here for just a month. But I can't see any grammatical arguments against any of the alternatives - it's just idiomatic/stylistic preference. – FumbleFingers Mar 30 '15 at 20:43
  • But would you go as far as to say that the other options aren't sentences you'd use? Do they strike you as unnatural, as for a native speaker? – Bebop B. Mar 30 '15 at 20:49
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    @BebopB. Nothing. (I haven't read the answers there anyway.) But the situation in that question is different from yours. In that question, the situation is: "Suppose you were in a foreign country. You were supposed to stay there for a month. it had passed for ten days since you came there." – Damkerng T. Mar 30 '15 at 20:56
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    The only one I'd question is #3. It sounds to my ear like a foreigner speaking English. #5 is its idiomatic cousin. I shall stay here for a month is its Edwardian English ancestor. That said, as part of an itinerary, it is perfectly idiomatic: "I will stay here for a month, and then fly out to Chicago." – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 30 '15 at 22:16
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    @Bebop B.: I've no doubt over a lifetime I've used every one of these variants at least several times (not necessarily for a month, but certainly once we include for a few minutes, days, a week, etc.). As Iplodman says, there's nothing "wrong" with any of them. I'm sure TRomano will reconsider and allow that "I'll stay here for a bit" is 100% natural, and said by countless people every day. And if we're going to split hairs about whether the contraction is required to prevent it being "awkward", I think this is all just a matter of opinions. – FumbleFingers Mar 30 '15 at 22:32
3

I wouldn't say that either is wrong, but 1 could do with some improvement. I'd recommend changing it to:

I'm just here for a month.

A likely reason that the third sentence sounds 'wrong' to the other person is that "I will" hasn't been shortened to "I'll", like it commonly is. I'd recommend shortening your "I will" and "I am"s to "I'll" and "I'm"s respectively.

  • Doesn't replacing words in the first sentence impact the meaning, changing it slightly? And why is shortening so important in these cases? – Bebop B. Mar 30 '15 at 20:40
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    @BebopB. Because the only difference between these two sentences and the others is that they are less colloquial than the others -- which seems a little odd in a first person statement. Contraction eliminates this distinction. – StoneyB Mar 30 '15 at 22:20
  • Huh, I thought I'd commented already. Nevermind, @StoneyB put it much better than me anyway! – HarryCBurn Mar 30 '15 at 22:45

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