79% GOOD (285 votes)AnsweredLanguage Question
Which is correct? ”I’ve been living here for 5 years” OR ”I’ve lived here for 5 years”?

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sureshbabupula profile picture sureshbabupulaMarch 2013


1. I've been living here for 5 years. It means You have lived for 5 years and you are still living here, not leaving the place.

2. I've lived here for 5 years. It means you have lived here for 5 years and you are going to move to another place from now on.

  • AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgMay 2023
    mac2210mac2210 profile picture

    No, grammar books DON’T state ”where both options are possible, use Present perfect continuous.”

    In another post, you appear to make the claim that Murphy and Hewings support your statement: ”English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy published by Cambridge University Press and Advanced Grammar in Use by Martin Hewings published by Cambridge University Press. I believe it’s correct ”

    I actually check claims. No, Murphy doesn’t say anything of the kind. You might want to check out Unit 10 of Murphy to find a model which differentiates present perfect continuous from present perfect simple. It’s actually not such a bad starting point for the huge numbers writing on this question thread who are completely clueless about the difference between present perfect continuous and present perfect simple tense forms - that includes more than a few native speakers of English!

    Claims such as ”present perfect simple / continuous are the same” or ”past simple and present perfect simple” are the same tend to emanate from English/”English” teachers who are too lazy or sloppy to actually learn what they are and when they are used...
  • AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgApril 2023
    marco75018 No, it doesn’t matter when the event started in the past. It’s all about the event’s relevance to the present point of time.

    present perfect continuous - events relevant to the present point in time with a start at a point in the past with a continuous aspect relevant to the context at the present point of time.

    e.g. ”People have been living in Damascus since about 6300BC.” You emphasise the aspect that ”people *continually* living in Damascus, starting about 8300 years ago.”.

    present perfect simple - considering the event as a whole. The continuity of the event is not of importance.

    e.g. People have lived in Damascus since about 6300BC.
    You emphasise ”people living in Damascus, starting about 8300 years ago.”.

    Both cases are definitely not ”recent past”!
  • marco75018 profile picture marco75018March 2023
    Grammatically speaking present perfect continous is the correct verb. I’ve been living here for 5 years.
    Present perfect is designed more for the recent past.
  • AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgMarch 2023
    @mayank96Q Firstly, none of your business regarding what I do with my free time.

    The ”you must have too much time on your hands” must be one of the 5 most boring ad hominen attacks out there - usually performed by those unable to actually respond to a statement with evidence.

    Hint 1: people who teach English professionally and are good at their job do things besides walk into classrooms and mark homework. You don’t get any good just by parroting something you read in a poorly-written textbook...

    As Douglas Adams once said: ”If you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else.”

    Secondly, It doesn’t even matter if the question is 50 years old. If the answers are wrong, then they are wrong. The question still seems relevant to you. ”for whatever reason” you responded to me here on a 10-year-old thread...

    You yourself seem to have issues with perfect tenses. On a very recent thread regarding past perfect tense forms, I responded to your answer. You proceeded to delete your answer, thereby deleting my response to you. Then you rage-downvoted another one of my answers. All this is the sort of behaviour of small boys and not intellectual adults, don’t you think?

    Hint 2: If I was wrong in my answer, I would have been more than happy to see a refutation with evidence. But it’s clearly evident to us that you are not able to provide such...

    Oh, before we forget, you have a habit of deleting things.

    Here’s what you wrote exactly, not forgetting the girly giggly icons you used:

    ”I think u have a lot of free time. That’s why u r quarreling on a question that is about 10 years old 😁😂”
  • AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgFebruary 2023

    You by far have the most accurate response to this question of any I’ve seen so far.

    However, I must respectfully disagree with you about the importance of the difference in meaning. It’s especially important during spoken conversation.

    Consider the following as isolated statements and the highly likely context around them:

    I’ve lived in Russia for 2 years.

    Here, you just want to tell the listener(s) the length of time you were there and to establish that you were actually in Russia. You do not wish to tell yet again your stories and adventures of being in Russia. The simple tense aspect is emphasised here - so the time span of 2 years is important, not what was happening within those 2 years.

    I’ve been living in Russia for 2 years.

    You are communicating to the people listening to you that you are willing to talk about what happened during those 2 years in Russia. What happens between the start and end of this 2-year period is of interest to what you would like to talk about. You might, for example, want to talk about the adventures you had during this time, information about life there and so on.

    Say the wrong tense form and you are likely to signal the wrong type of conversation you wish to have with someone. So, very important!!!! You have completely changed the meaning of what you are saying.

    The dynamic nature of speaking means you’re affecting both the speaker and the listener with wrong intent when using the incorrect tense form - a mismatch of what is expected from your statement. Misunderstandings and what flows from that can follow.

    You can recover more easily in reading/writing from this sort of grammatical error. The context is laid out in front of you, so it’s easier to see that it’s a mistake. You might not feel this much, but the process still happens. Nevertheless, you still have to think and work this out. This gets in the way of effective communication, even in writing.

  • AussieInBg profile picture AussieInBgFebruary 2023
    @sureshbabupula Counterexamples to the ones you gave:

    I know this neighbourhood! I’ve been living here for 5 years! Each year I was even attending the local festival. Unfortunately rents were increasing too much every 6 months. I signed the rental contract for my new place two years ago.

    Event of living somewhere, started in the past and finished in the past - 2 years ago. It’s relevant to the present time - present knowledge of the neighbourhood. Continual aspect because of both festival attendence and rising rents. Therefore present perfect continuous tense is needed here.

    I’ve lived here for 5 years. Today is the 5th anniversary of me signing the rental contract. I think that 5 years is too long to be somewhere. I would like to move to another city!

    Here, the period of the event - so far - is 5 years. The event still continues beyond the present - you still live there. You have a wish to leave because of the length of time spent - so the period of 5 years is relevant to you right now. However, there is an end point of consideration - now. You are not really interested within the context in what is happening between the commencement of living there 5 years ago or now - only that between the start and end time points = 5 years. Therefore present perfect simple is the appropriate tense.