A: How long have you lived / have you been living in this town?

B: I've been living here for twenty six years.

A: Where did you live before?

B: I used to live in St.Petersburg.

We use Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuos to reffer to the period of time which began in the past and is still going on in the present. The other question is connected with the period of time which ended once and don't continue now therefore we can use either Past Simple or "used to".

Is it correct?

  • 1
    I think you're more or less correct, but keep in mind that real usage is not as simple as we can boiled down into a rule like that. Consider Have you ever been to London?. It's actually about what happened in the past (it's asking about experience) rather than what's still going on. – Damkerng T. Apr 28 '17 at 16:57
  • @DamkerngT., you bet. I know it, but (Present Perfect is used to map the experience, personal changes that have happened) but I'm talking about this context. I reckon you understand what I meant to say if I reword my question. What are the major grounds or may be matters why we use this times in that way? The former question - Present Perfect, the latter - Past Simle. – Anthony Voronkov Apr 29 '17 at 22:23
  • As I mentioned previously, you understand this correctly. My comment was only a reminder that we should keep in mind that rules in language are not quite straightforward except for the simplest cases (having said that, even the simplest cases may not always be simple! E.g., we know that in Standard English we say She doesn't, and yet you may find She don't in some songs written by native speakers). As for why or when a speaker would use which choice, I'd like to suggest reading the second point of groundwork in my old answer: ell.stackexchange.com/a/100668/3281. – Damkerng T. Apr 29 '17 at 23:55

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