If I have this sentence:

I have lived in Canada for 5 years

It suggests that "I am still living in Canada for five years."

Can I change the meaning by saying the following?

I am living in France now but I have lived in Canada for 5 years.

The reason I am asking this question is because I have seen that the context changes the meaning in the following sentences if you add these italicized sentences:

I am in bed. I have been sick since Tuesday. (I am still stick)

I am feeling better. I have been sick since Tuesday. (I am okay)

Please suggest if all the given sentences are right or not.

  • i think simple past will do. Jan 11, 2017 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


The present perfect tense has several uses:

  1. To indicate a relative action or situation which has continued until the present moment (and which may or may not be finished).

  2. To denote a life experience.

When you say "I have lived in Canada" it is not clear by itself whether you are talking about a current condition or simply stating a past experience. Adding "I live in France now" does clarify, but if you want to add a time frame for when or how long you lived in Canada, it's more natural to use the past tense.

I live in France now, but I have lived in Canada.


I live in France now, but I lived in Canada for five years.
... I lived in Canada in my youth.
... I lived in Canada ten years ago.

  • Why does "I have lived in Canada for 5 years" indicate that I am still living in Canada but the sentence "I have been sick for 2 days" isn't clear about whether I am still sick or was sick?
    – user92131
    Jan 12, 2017 at 12:23
  • "I have lived in Canada for five years" doesn't explicitly mean that you still live in Canada. It just means, up to this moment, you have been living in Canada. Again you have to use context: people don't move all that often, so it's reasonable to assume you didn't just move out of Canada. This is more a logic thing than an English thing. Meanwhile, people get well, they get better, and the process takes days or even hours. It's not unreasonable for someone to "have been sick" but now be fully recovered.
    – Andrew
    Jan 12, 2017 at 14:25

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