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I have been told by native speakers that this sentence is not correct.

1 Jimmy has had a yacht in the last six months.

(I am aware that "for the last six months" would be fine, but the point is that it should be "in")


However, if we put it into a subordinate clause it will be OK.

2 I know a guy who has had a yacht in the last six months.


Do you agree that 1 is wrong and 2 is correct? If yes, how can you explain it?

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Ticce1 Jimmy has had a yacht in the last six months.
(I am aware that "for the last six months" would be fine, but the point is that it should be "in")

This sentence is correct but seems unusual. "for the last six months" means for the entire period; "in the last six months" means at some point during that period. For a normally long-term situation such as possession of a yacht, it seems a somewhat unusual thing to say, as if yachts come and go readily. We would more likely use "in" in cases such as e.g. "Have you had a cold in the last six months"?

TicceHowever, if we put it into a subordinate clause it will be OK.
2 I know a guy who has had a yacht in the last six months.
Do you agree that 1 is wrong and 2 is correct? If yes, how can you explain it?

There is no difference between the sentences in respect of the correctness of "in".

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Thank you! I am not very clear on the blocker of the idea of possession of a yacht. Why does it have to be a long-term situation? I am pretty sure that it's possible to have a yacht only for one week or even a day. (It can be destroyed after one week).


On the other hand, I think it's absolutely idiomatic to say: Jimmy had a yacht in the last six months.

Why is it idiomatic (had a yacht)?

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Or do you mean that "Jimmy has had a yacht in the last six months." means that Jimmy has had a yacht more than once in the last six months and that's what makes it confusing?

Teacher, I have a related question, please. I wonder if OP used the simple past form "Jimmy had a yacht in the last six months." That wouldn't be unusual, right?

I also wonder about using Simple Past form with such a question"Did you have/catch a cold in the last six months?"

Is it correct grammatically? Does it sound usual or unusual?

TicceThank you! I am not very clear on the blocker of the idea of possession of a yacht. Why does it have to be a long-term situation?

It doesn't have to be, but with no further information about what happened, the sentence does rather makes it sound as if having a yacht is something that comes and goes without it being much of a big deal, which wouldn't typically be the case for most people.

Another example to look at might be:

Jimmy can't make up his mind what he wants. In the last six months, he's had a yacht, a speedboat, and a motor cruiser.

Because we now have more context to support the idea that these were short-lived possessions, the use of "in" is more expected.

TicceOn the other hand, I think it's absolutely idiomatic to say: Jimmy had a yacht in the last six months. Why is it idiomatic (had a yacht)?

To me, "Jimmy had a yacht in the last six months" feels somewhat less idiomatic than "Jimmy has had a yacht in the last six months".

TicceOr do you mean that "Jimmy has had a yacht in the last six months." means that Jimmy has had a yacht more than once in the last six months and that's what makes it confusing?

No, it doesn't imply that.

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anonymousTeacher, I have a related question, please. I wonder if OP used the simple past form "Jimmy had a yacht in the last six months." That wouldn't be unusual, right?
anonymousI also wonder about using Simple Past form with such a question"
Did you have/catch a cold in the last six months?"
Is it correct grammatically? Does it sound usual or unusual?

To me, in all these cases, the simple past seems less usual than the present perfect.