Would this be a correct sentence when using Il y a as "for"

JavierA0Kwiziq community member

Would this be a correct sentence when using Il y a as "for"

"I have been living here for 10 years" --> J'habite ici il y a 10 ans".    I know the translation provided by the video is "Il y a 10 ans sue J'habite ici". Why can't I say the I live part (J'habite) first? Thank u :) 

Asked 1 month ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

No, that wouldn't normally be correct. If you want to specify a timespan, you use depuis:

J'habite ici depuis 10 ans. -- I've been living here for 10 years.

Il y a means "ago":

J'ai déménagé ici il y a 10 ans. -- I moved here 10 years ago.

Update to my original post:

That said (which is the foolproof 90% answer), there are instances where il y a can also be translated as a time span. In this case you'd use it like this:

Il y a 10 ans que j'habite ici. -- It's been 10 years that I'm living here.

But you could not say: j'habite ici il y a 10 ans. That's definitely wrong. Using il y a over depuis focuses the attention on the beginning of a time span that started in the past and is still ongoing. With depuis this emphasis isn't there.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You can use "il y a [period] que" as an informal equivalent to depuis, to mean "for", but you can't omit que, so it's not possible to change the order like that.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

So the video is wrong then?

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Alan, 

as I know you know by your initial response, the video in the lesson is not wrong regarding the use of ‘ il y a (duration) que … ‘ followed by a clause. 

As you noted, ‘ depuis ‘ is not the only term that can be used to indicate a period or timespan, and ‘ il y a (10 ans) que ….. ‘ also denotes a timespan between a past event and the time of ‘ speaking ‘.

 Perhaps Céline or Cécile could provide a comprehensive, unified answer for Javier here ?

https://www.wordreference.com/fren/il%20y%20a

 https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/il_y_a/41603#locution

Would this be a correct sentence when using Il y a as "for"

"I have been living here for 10 years" --> J'habite ici il y a 10 ans".    I know the translation provided by the video is "Il y a 10 ans sue J'habite ici". Why can't I say the I live part (J'habite) first? Thank u :) 

Sign in to submit your answer

Don't have an account yet? Join today

Ask a question

Find your French level for FREE

Test your French to the CEFR standard

Find your French level
Thinking...