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    #1

    Certain continuous verbs (live, study) in the present perfect + a since phrase

    This is confusing:

    I have lived in NYC since 2001.

    This could mean that since 2001, I moved to NYC and then out of NYC. But it could also mean that I began living in NYC in 2001 and continue to live there.

    According to my grammar book, there are certain continuous verbs that can be used in the present perfect OR present perfect progressive to express a situation that began in the past and continues to the present. Live is one of those verbs.

    How do the ESL teachers on this message board instruct their students in this situation?

    Thanks for the help!

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Certain continuous verbs (live, study) in the present perfect + a since phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    This is confusing:

    I have lived in NYC since 2001.

    This could mean that since 2001, I moved to NYC and then out of NYC. But it could also mean that I began living in NYC in 2001 and continue to live there.

    According to my grammar book, there are certain continuous verbs that can be used in the present perfect OR present perfect progressive to express a situation that began in the past and continues to the present. Live is one of those verbs.

    How do the ESL teachers on this message board instruct their students in this situation?

    Thanks for the help!
    "I have lived in NYC since 2001" and "Since 2001, I have lived in NYC" both mean "I moved to NYC and I still live there."

    If you want to say that during the time period beginning in 2001 and ending now, you moved to NYC and then moved somewhere else, you need to name both places:

    I have lived in NYC and London since 2001.
    Since 2001, I have lived in NYC, London, Amsterdam and Johannesburg.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Certain continuous verbs (live, study) in the present perfect + a since phrase

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    According to my grammar book, there are certain continuous verbs that can be used in the present perfect OR present perfect progressive to express a situation that began in the past and continues to the present. Live is one of those verbs.
    The progressive form implies limited duration. One of the things that suggested to my colleagues that I had (subconsciously) decided that Prague had become my permanent home was when I stopped saying "I have been living in Prague for x years" and started saying "I have lived in Prague for x years".

    As the idea of permanence may not be uppermost in the speaker's mind at the moment of speaking, the choice of form may sometimes seem fairly random. When I first arrived in Prague, and thought that would I stay for only ten months, I almost certainly used only the progressive form, and, of course 'x months' rather than 'x years'. Today, fourteen years later, I use almost exclusively the non-progressive form. If I do use the progressive form sometimes, it may be that, as I am English, have a mother and daughter in England whom I visit regularly, and lived in England for nearly half a century, part of me still thinks of my residence here as being of limited duration.

    I have spoken of my residence in Prague to show that, with certain verbs, especially those, like 'live', which in themselves contain the idea of some length of the situation denoted, there may well be no automatically natural form.

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