So, it is usually said that "since" and "for" are indicators for present perfect. For example : "I have lived here for 5 years." But that implies that you are still living there, but you might be on the move soon.

What if you want to express that you used to live in a certain place for 5 years but you are not currently living there anymore? Could you say: " I lived In berlin for 5 years ( but currently live in Munich)" . How would you express it ?

For since i think it's definitely true that you cannot use simple past with it , or can you? Do you know any simple past sentence with since?

Thank you so much, and i always appreciate if you correct any mistakes in the above text . Often i ask about one thing but then an attentive reader draws my attention to another mistake by me i made in the text. I really appreciate this!

2 Answers 2



Yes, you can absolutely say

"I lived in Berlin for five years."

To indicate that

  1. there was a five-year period for which you lived in Berlin, and
  2. that that period is over.


It is not appropriate to use the simple past with "since." If you wanted to indicate when you started living in Berlin, you could instead say,

"I lived in Berlin from 2005 [to 2010]."


I lived in berlin for 5 years, but currently live in Munich.

is an absoulutely correct way to express your state of having lived in Berlin but now reside in Munich.

If you need to use since you can use the past perfect to show you lived in Berlin first, then Munich

Since 2002, I have lived in Berlin for 5 years and Munich for 10.
Since 2002, I had lived in Berlin for 5 years then Munich for 10.

  • The second, "since 2002...I had lived" doesn't sound grammatical to my ear without some other temporal context to establish a more recent reference time in the past. Does then do that sufficiently for your ear?
    – TimR
    Feb 3, 2017 at 14:20

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