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1) I lived in London for five years.

2) I have lived in London for five years.

2 Answers 2

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This seems to be a question regarding tenses.

In English grammar there are 12 main tenses:

Past, Present, and Future - each has a simple, continuous, perfect, and perfect continuous variation.

We need to look at what each of the sentences say to decipher the differences:

I lived in London for five years.

This sentence is in the simple past tense. You did live in London for five years but no longer do.

I have lived in London for five years.

This sentence is in the present perfect. You have lived in London for five years and continue to do so.

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Both are grammatically correct. The difference in meaning is because of implicit context, rather than explicit definitions.

I lived in London for five years.: This states that there was a five-year period at some point in the past during which you lived in London. It says nothing about your current residence; even if you live in London currently, it is implying a fixed period in the past that has concluded (e.g., if you lived in London, moved to Paris, and have now moved back to London, this could be talking about the period before you moved to Paris).

I have lived in London for five years.: This implies that you currently live in London, and that you began living in London five years ago. Unlike the previous sentence, it is referring to your current period of residency in London, and makes no implications regarding past periods of residency.

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