Here is a quote from Law & Order: SVU, season 13, episode 4, around 12 min 36 s:

I work in the same company for 10 years.

Why is it all right to use the Present Simple tense in this case? I was taught that we should use either the Present Perfect Simple or the Present Perfect Continuous tense when an action started in the past and it's still in progress (even if this is a habit).

What is the difference between the above sentence and this one:

I have a cat for 10 years.

This is clearly incorrect (as far as I know).

I know that we use the Present Simple tense for facts, habits, etc., so it is correct to say:

I work in the same company.

But adding for the 10 years should force the speaker to change the tense to a perfect one. Why didn't it?

Edit: Here is a larger part of the conversation:

[The man] Let's try this again. I am, I'm a good citizen. The only trouble I've ever had is speeding ticket.

[Detective] Really? Because there is a domestic assault complaint against you in 1994.

[The man] Are you ...? I had an argument with my girlfriend. In college. Our roommate called the cops. And it's 15 years ago. I was a kid. I'd like to go through your lives.

[Detective] OK. Why don't we calm down. So what line of work, again?

[The man] I am a pharmaceutical rep. I work for the same company for 10 years. Just got a promotion. That's why I moved to New York in June [...].


1 Answer 1


You are right, the sentence structure in question is grammatically incorrect; however, that is not the actual quote. The actor really says,

I've worked for the same company for ten years. enter image description here

  • can you hear the present perfect tense? Or did the peson who prepared the captions add it? Jul 31, 2016 at 10:40
  • @user2738748 I'm fairly certain I heard it, but rewatching it, I noticed he does swallow the "'va" and the "ed".
    – j4eo
    Jul 31, 2016 at 12:55

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