I (live) ____ in London since 1994.

Which tense is more correct to use here in this example; A) Present Perfect Simple or B) Present Perfect Continuous?

Answer A): I have lived in London since 1994.
Answer B): I have been living in London since 1994.

If have understood right, the meaning of answer A) is that I have lived in London in the past and I might live again in the future, while of question B) is that I have been living there for a specific period of time and I'm still living there.

Please clarify what points I get right and what points I'm missing.

2 Answers 2


The duration of the situation denoted by the continuous form is not necessarily short, but it is in some way or other limited. I moved to Prague on a one-year contract many years ago, and stayed on. I noticed after some time that I had stopped saying "I'm living in Prague" and "I've been living in Prague for x years" and started saying "I live in Prague" and "I've lived in Prague for x years". The switch from continuous to non-continuous, not made consciously, reflected my realisation that I had come to see Prague as my permanent home.


Both of these tenses can used for an action that began at some point in the past and is still continuing
But generally we use the present perfect continuous for actions that started only some time ago.

Children have been playing for 2 hours.

He has been sleeping since 4 o'clock.

And the present perfect is used for actions that started long ago.

I have lived in London for 3 years.

  • Your explanation is very informative. If I would like to use Present Perfect Continuous for an action that started a long time ago, and I would like to focus on the duration of this action, it's correct? For example: I have been living in London for 30 years. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 18:59
  • This is opposite to what I said. If duration is small you should use the present perfect continuous Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 19:05

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