Do both of them tell us that they are still living here.i am not sure if second one is correct and if it is,please tell me what is the difference between the two in terms of current situation.

2 Answers 2


The two sentences are similar but not identical.

To say:

They have been living here for ten years

means that they are still living here.

To say:

They have lived here for ten years

indicates that they are still living here but I can imagine a situation when a friend/relative uses the latter construction to talk about a couple who have just died or recently moved away.

However, this is a subtle nuance that may not find support with others.

  • I would agree that the two constructions are more likely to be used as you have indicated, but perhaps note that this is not a strict rule.
    – Tashus
    Dec 13, 2018 at 16:23
  • @Tashus We are as one! Dec 13, 2018 at 18:45
  • If the people kicked the bucket, one would most likely say: They had lived here for ten years [when they then died]. Not the present prefect which always implies that whatever started in the past is still going on or true.
    – Lambie
    Dec 14, 2018 at 16:35
  • @Lambie True...hence my careful phrasing! (Boas festas) Dec 14, 2018 at 18:59
  • @RonaldSole Igualmente. :)
    – Lambie
    Dec 14, 2018 at 19:20

They both continue to be true in the present. Both these tenses are used in reference to a present time, the time of speaking.

The difference lies in the extent to which one wants to emphasize the activity (living: what they have been doing) versus not giving a specific date about when they started living there.

If you do not want to give a specific date, as in: They lived here ten years [and now do not] but want to signal that the starting to live here began in the past and is still true, you use**: They have lived here for 10 years. The point here is that it began in the past.

Another example: I have been drinking coffee for many years. [emphasis: the fact of drinking coffee which is ongoing until the present]

I have drunk coffee for many years. [the coffee drinking is still going on but it began in the past. The activity itself is not emphasized. The information is that it began in the past.] Compare that to: I started drinking coffee in 2000.

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