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I have had a pen for many years...

Eskadi

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Dear All,

This is my first post here, so first I would like to say hello to everyone !

I am trying to express ongoing duration (something that started one day and is ongoing now) in Japanese. For instance, let's say someone gave me a pen 3 years ago, but since I only use my computer, I have never used the pen (but I still have it).

I believe, in English the sentence is:

I have had a pen for many years but I have never used it.

I would like to say this, not in textbook Japanese but just as a native speaker would say it. I am probably far from this goal. Here is what I have:

私が長年のペンを持っていましたけど、使ったことがありません。
私が長年のためのペンを持っています、けど使ったことがありません。

I used が instead of は to make it more personal. However, I believe that 私 would not be resorted to by a native speaker and I am really insure about the けど ... actually I am unsure of the whole sentences...

Thanks for your help
 

Toritoribe

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I would say 何年も前からペンを持っているけど、一度も使ったことがありません。.
 

Eskadi

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Thank you for your reply. Please, could you help me understanding it?

I read :
How many years too (何年も) until before (前から)
I am possessing (持っている) a pen (ペン)
but / though (けど)
it is the first occurence (time) too 一度も
... and I lack the knowledge to understand the rest.
I can acknowledge 使った ; ことが ; ありません though...
 

Toritoribe

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"Too/also" is not the single meaning/translation of も. It can mean "even ", for instance.
Interrogatives are not question in the structure "interrogative + も" (e.g. いつも: always/whenever, 誰も: everybody/whoever).

一度も~ない means "never".

~たことがある expresses an experience "to have done". (You yourself used this structure, so you know the meaning, no?)

The grammatical point you should realize is the difference between the forms preceding けど. While you used 持っていました (polite past of -te iru form), my one is 持っている (plain/non-polite -te iru form). 持つ is a punctual verb(瞬間動詞), so 持っている expresses the current state. The past form of state strongly suggests that the state is over now (e.g. 結婚していた implies 離婚している "to be divorced now"). Thus, 持っていました means "I don't have the pen now" there.

Here's the reason why non-polite form is used before けど.
My grammar questions | Japan Forum

Are you using a textbook? It doesn't work well to look up each word in the dictionary one by one, especially for grammatical structures. I believe that decent grammar textbooks must contain the explanation of these structures I wrote here.
 
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