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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #1

    Red face Present Perfect or Past Simple

    hi
    i know this sounds silly
    but i wonder if you could help me with this? my students have answered both and im confused

    How long did you live in your last flat?

    or How long have you lived in your last flat?

    i know that the action has started and finished
    some time in the past, thus makes it past simple
    but
    don't we generally use Present perfect with how long?
    like
    how long have you been there for?!
    thanks

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    #2

    Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by iteach View Post
    hi
    i know this sounds silly
    but i wonder if you could help me with this? my students have answered both and im confused

    How long did you live in your last flat?

    or How long have you lived in your last flat?

    i know that the action has started and finished
    some time in the past, thus makes it past simple
    but
    don't we generally use Present perfect with how long?
    like
    how long have you been there for?!
    thanks
    It seems to me that in the second one the person has just moved to another flat, let's say one month ago. In the first one there's no information about time, it could be one or ten years ago.

    I'm also looking for a better answer though.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #3

    Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by iteach View Post
    hi
    i know this sounds silly
    but i wonder if you could help me with this? my students have answered both and im confused

    How long did you live in your last flat?

    or How long have you lived in your last flat?

    i know that the action has started and finished
    some time in the past, thus makes it past simple
    but
    don't we generally use Present perfect with how long?
    like
    how long have you been there for?!
    thanks
    We use the present perfect for things that have a sense of "up to now".

    "How long have you lived in flats?"

    would be okay if that person were still living in a flat.

    As for your two examples, only the past simple works.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by iteach View Post
    hi
    i know this sounds silly
    but i wonder if you could help me with this? my students have answered both and im confused

    How long did you live in your last flat?

    or How long have you lived in your last flat?

    i know that the action has started and finished
    some time in the past, thus makes it past simple
    but
    don't we generally use Present perfect with how long?
    like
    how long have you been there for?!
    thanks
    Hi,
    I find that sentence 2. is a bit strange with "have".


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #5

    Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple

    Note that the present perfect of experience, one of a number of PP uses, can still be used for your example, Iteach. It can do this because it contains within a sense of "up to now", usually noted by 'ever'.

    Have you ever lived in a flat?

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