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. Feb 21, 2016 at 9:56
  • But I have seen" I walked for 3 days" This is a duration without perfect
    – Yves Lefol
    Feb 21, 2016 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. Feb 21, 2016 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


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. Jun 15, 2017 at 8:47
  • @SovereignSun I don't know why I added that. I probably misread the question.
    – Schwale
    Jun 16, 2017 at 17:06

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