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  1. I'm With Stupid's Avatar
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    #1

    I've lived/I'd lived/I lived

    Can someone give me a hand here?

    "I've lived there 20 years ago" is incorrect.

    I would change it to, "I lived there 20 years ago" which I know is right.

    However, is "I'd lived there 20 years ago" right too?

    According to my grammar book, it's grammatically acceptable because unlike present perfect, it is acceptable to use past perfect even when a specific time is given. But it still doesn't sound right to me.


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    #2

    Re: I've lived/I'd lived/I lived

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm With Stupid View Post
    Can someone give me a hand here?

    "I've lived there 20 years ago" is incorrect.

    I would change it to, "I lived there 20 years ago" which I know is right.

    However, is "I'd lived there 20 years ago" right too?

    According to my grammar book, it's grammatically acceptable because unlike present perfect, it is acceptable to use past perfect even when a specific time is given. But it still doesn't sound right to me.
    Yes, that's correct. It would have to be, of course, up to a specific time in the past.

    Let's put it in context.

    I moved back to Newville last year, and I was glad to be back home. I had lived there twenty years ago, and then I started traveling.

    This is kind of possible, but I don't like the adverb "ago" in that sentence. I would simply change "ago" to "before", and then I think we have a much more plausible sentence.

    I moved back to Newville last year, and I was glad to be back home. I had lived there twenty years before, and then I started traveling.

    now - 2009

    last year - 2008 - I had lived there 20 years before - 20 years before I moved back there in 2008, which was 1988

    twenty years ago - really twenty years before 2008 - 1988

    This context shows that the speaker lived in Newville 20 years prior to moving back, which was 1989. It's logical, then, to use the past perfect because the speaker is stating that one time frame - action or event - happened or took place before another time frame - action or event - in the past, and not up until now.

    Expressing the idea of "up until now" the job of the present perfect, of course.

    Let me know if you have a follow-up question. This is an interesting question because ELLs have, in my opinion, a somewhat of a challenge when it comes to knowing when the right time is to use the past perfect. Or more simply put, they have somewhat of a difficult time incorporating it into their English, especially spoken English.

  2. I'm With Stupid's Avatar
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      • English
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    #3

    Re: I've lived/I'd lived/I lived

    Thank for the help. This is for my pre-interview task, and they want me to point out the error in the sentence and come up with an explination. The original sentence is "I've lived there 20 years ago" and the obvious problem is the tense of "I've" rather than "I'd" but I just wanted to check because it still didn't look right to me (and obviously "I" would give you the correct tense and a better sounding sentence, but in my explination, there is no actual grammatical reason for doing so). I think the "ago" is just there to specify that we're talking about someone who no longer lives there. I don't know if trying to go one further and essentially say "well actually, the whole sentence is crap" is a good idea, so I might just stick to swapping I've for I'd.


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    #4

    Re: I've lived/I'd lived/I lived

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm With Stupid View Post
    Thank for the help. This is for my pre-interview task, and they want me to point out the error in the sentence and come up with an explination. The original sentence is "I've lived there 20 years ago" and the obvious problem is the tense of "I've" rather than "I'd" but I just wanted to check because it still didn't look right to me (and obviously "I" would give you the correct tense and a better sounding sentence, but in my explination, there is no actual grammatical reason for doing so). I think the "ago" is just there to specify that we're talking about someone who no longer lives there. I don't know if trying to go one further and essentially say "well actually, the whole sentence is crap" is a good idea, so I might just stick to swapping I've for I'd.

    Sometimes dealing with isolated sentences is tricky. We understand pieces of language as part of a greater whole - as I see it, anyway.


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    #5

    Re: I've lived/I'd lived/I lived

    PROESL is right. Context is essential, but normally missing in isolated examples. Unfortunately, context is usually the deciding factor in judging whether something is right or wrong.

    One of the most common mistakes I see is students wanting to use the past perfect for no apparent reason. If there is no context that justifies it (and there is none in your sentence), then I wouldn't use it.

    Greg

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