“We have lived here for five years” and “We have been living here for five years”?

 As far as the meaning is concerned, there is no difference between the two. What you are saying is that you started living in that particular place five years ago and you still continue to live there. The activity of living in that place — if you would like to call it that — still continues.

Here are a few examples.

*Naresh has worked here for fifteen years. (He still works here)

 *Naresh has been working here for fifteen years. (He still works here)

*Naresh worked here for fifteen years. (He no longer works here)

*Devdas has taught English for twenty years. (He still teaches English)

*Devdas has been teaching English for twenty years. (He still teaches English)

*Devdas taught English for twenty years. (He no longer teaches English)

This however is not possible in the case of all verbs. For example, you cannot say, “I have read the book for three weeks”, or “I have eaten since yesterday”. On the other hand, you can say, “I have been reading the book for three weeks” and “I have been eating since yesterday”.

S. UPENDRAN The Hindu- KYE Jan 22, 2002

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One thought on ““We have lived here for five years” and “We have been living here for five years”?

  1. i have lived in Manama for three years

    it means as an experience though the person no longer lives there

    imagine he wants to emphasize the effect of the experience which is still vivid in his mind

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