intended meanings of sentences

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lingkky

Senior Member
chinese
I would like to open a new thread to dicuss another topic.It is similar with my previous thread.I have two sentences for comparison.

"The house has been built for five years."

As discussion made in previous thread ,"has been built "could probaly mean "has existed"

In the same way,
"The student has been taught for five years"

Can "has been taught" also mean "has finished studied"in the sentence as the same way "has been built"can mean"has existed"???
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    "The house has been built for five years."
    I haven't seen the other thread you refer to but this sentence doesn't make much sense to me.

    If you mean that building work has been going on for five years, I suggest: This house has been under construction for five years. (There are several other ways to say it.)

    The words "has been built" mean that the building work is over, so "has been built for five years" sounds odd. The only context it could work in is if you were saying that house was intended to last/exist only for five years. This house has been built [to exist] for five years.

    "The student has been taught for five years"
    This to me means: This student has received instruction (in something) for five years.

    Can "has been taught" also mean "has finished studied"
    No.

    as the same way "has been built"can mean"has existed"???
    "Has been built" does not mean "has existed". It means that the work or activity of building something has been completed.
     
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    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    I suppose the problem lies in the specific word "built" as opposed to other words like "taught", for example.

    You can say that a person has been taught (something) for five years to mean that the process of teaching went on for five years. But the word "built" implies the completion of an activity and not an ongoing activity.

    You could however say "Houses have been built for thousands of years" to mean that the practice of building houses has been going on for thousands of years. But in your example, you are referring to a single house. When the house is complete, it has been built, and it stays built till it's demolished or collapses.

    But though it might have existed for five years, you can't say "It's been built for five years" because it's just not said that way.
     

    lingkky

    Senior Member
    chinese
    If "Has been built for five years""could mean the building was built five years ago .(in some situations)

    Then,is it possible for"has been taught for five years." to mean that the student has finished studying five years ago??(in some situations)

    what cause the difference between the sentences??(with same structure)
     
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    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    If "Has been built for five years""could mean the building was built five years ago .(in some situations)
    No, it's not natural and we wouldn't ever say it this way. Just don't use "has been built" with "for (a time period)." It's time to give up on this bad construction, not start new threads about it.
     

    lingkky

    Senior Member
    chinese
    No, it's not natural and we wouldn't ever say it this way. Just don't use "has been built" with "for (a time period)." It's time to give up on this bad construction, not start new threads about it.
    "The student has been taught for five years"
    is it bad and unnatural too??
     

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    If "Has been built for five years""could mean the building was built five years ago .(in some situations)
    Perhaps, if someone asks, "Has that building that was planned on the corner of ABC Street and XYZ Street been built?", someone might answer "It has been built for five years" to mean "Yes, it has and has existed in a built-up state for the last five years". But this is a very specific context.
    is it possible for"has been taught for five years." to mean that the student has finished studying five years ago??(in some situations)
    I can't think of one. The context might bring out this meaning but not these words by themselves.

    Of not what cause the difference between the sentences??(with same structure)
    The difference is because "built" and "taught" are different words and "built" can't always be used in the same way as "taught".
     

    lingkky

    Senior Member
    chinese
    They are too ambiguos and they seem to be discouraged to be used without supported by context to bring out the desired meaning.
     
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