Suppose, we’re (I and my wife) asked by people how long our marriage is since we got married. Which tense should I use? Past tense or perfect tense or else?
- We were married for 15 years.
- We’ve been married for 15 years.
Since a marriage is a status and it occurs once (each marriage), but the status is continuous until both people get separated or divorced, I’m confused, whether I should say the sentence 1. or 2.
You would use We were married for [X time] if the marriage has ended, for example you are now divorced, or your spouse has died. You are saying that the duration of the marriage is fixed, and will not change.
You would use We have been married for [X time] if the marriage is still in effect. The statement is accurate as of the current date, but there is an understanding that as time goes on the duration of the marriage will likewise increase.
However, if you are talking about the date when you got married then you use We were married on [X date]. This sounds overly formal, though, and I think most people would instead say We got married on [X date].