Which sentences are correct please ?

"I'd had my camera for 3 weeks before I sold it yesterday."

"I had my camera for 3 weeks before I sold it yesterday."

"I had my camera for 3 weeks when I sold it yesterday."

"I had my camera for 3 weeks. Yesterday I sold it."

I think 1,2 and 4 are correct

  • With duration, you use the perfect. In this case, the past perfect. Thus, one is the most correct. – Ghaith Alrestom Feb 21 '16 at 9:56
  • But I have seen" I walked for 3 days" This is a duration without perfect – user5577 Feb 21 '16 at 10:40
  • That's right. There is a lot of usage of simple past with duration. But grammatically speaking, it should be the perfect tense, at least that's what I have read in grammar books and what I have been taught. However, people don't like complexities and florid language since it doesn't really make a big difference in making your point. Here in the US, people even forget all of those different tenses. They just use the easiest and the simplest. – Ghaith Alrestom Feb 21 '16 at 10:48

past simple + for indicates that once the period is over, the action is no longer done.

I had my camera for 3 weeks. (The three weeks are over and the camera is no longer in my hands.)

It's different when using the present perfect, because this tense focuses in the present:

I've had my camera for 3 weeks. (After the period of weeks is over, I still have the camera.)

So basically, the sentences make sense, but the third one sounds a little weird.

  • 1
    However, there's no Present Perfect in the OP's examples. There's Past Perfect. – SovereignSun Jun 15 '17 at 8:47
  • @SovereignSun I don't know why I added that. I probably misread the question. – Alejandro Jun 16 '17 at 17:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.