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I was going through the US border control in an airport a couple days ago and the customs officer asked me a question that was kind unexpected. I don't remember the question exactly but it definitely was past perfect tense or future perfect tense because it contained something like "how long have you stayed in the US" in the sentence. I assumed he was asking about the duration of my stay in the states so I answered I would stay there for 3 days and he accepted that answer.

But I was really confused when he asked that question because I was expecting something like"how long will you stay" and didn't anticipate it involving "have" in it. So my question is, can you guys think of any sentences that can be used to ask for the duration of the stay while containing "have you" in it?

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    "How long have you planned to stay in the United States?" – Zebrafish Jul 30 '18 at 20:10
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    I'm guessing there was some miscommunication. – Hot Licks Jul 30 '18 at 21:37
  • …how long have you stayed…? is in the Present Perfect. – Mari-Lou A Jul 31 '18 at 9:17
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"Have you" would be the past perfect tense in the sentence you provided as an example. In UK English, and in some parts of the US, it is not unusual to say, "how long have you got" meaning how much time/many days do you have left.

It seems strange for them to have asked the question in the future perfect, like "how long will you have stayed at the end of your trip," but I suppose it's possible.

Could it be, however, that you misunderstood the question and you were asked if you "had a place to stay" or if you were going to "have a long stay"?

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