I just read a very interesting point in the book Ready for FCE. The question was about the difference between I lived here for two years, and I had been living here for two years. Apparently, when you say the first, it means you don't live here anymore, and when you say the second one, you might be living here or you might not.

I wonder if it's rigorous grammar and in everyday English, speakers use the first statement even if they now live in the same place where they used to.

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    You could use I lived here for two years if you lived here, moved away, and moved back. But if you say it, most people will think that you mean that you haven't been living here continuously. Jun 11, 2019 at 13:26
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    Re the last part of your question, people don't use the first statement if they have been living in the place they are talking about all along - in that situation it would be I've lived here..., as the answer below says. I'm just commenting to point out that this can sound very similar to I lived here....
    – user96060
    Jun 11, 2019 at 15:58
  • @Minty Thank you for that. So you agree with Peter Shor that I could say I lived here for a while, moved away and then moved back.
    – Yuri
    Jun 12, 2019 at 6:39
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    Yes - I can't see anyone disagreeing with that.
    – user96060
    Jun 12, 2019 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


I lived here for two years.

Means you lived there in the past and do not anymore.

I had lived here for two years...

You are right that this could indicate you still live there. If you said "I had lived here for two years when my brother came to visit", you are talking about how long you had been there up until a fixed point in time. You may still live there, you may not, context would determine. Obviously, if you were sat inside your house saying "I lived here..." then you clearly still do, but you could use the same word "here" when pointing out somewhere that you used to live.

I have lived here for two years.

For reference, this is how you would state how long you have lived where you presently reside.

  • So if you're sitting in your house, you can say, "I lived here for two years," if let's say you're referring to a picture showing a different place, and not to the same house you live in now. To be honest, I didn't get what you meant right after "Obviously." Also Peter Shor brought up a point in the comments. What do you think of that?
    – Yuri
    Jun 11, 2019 at 14:04
  • If you're sitting in your house, you would only say "I lived here for two years" if you were just about to move out. It means, "In the past, I did this, but no longer." If you still live there, you would say "I have lived here for two years", because that means it is a state of being which is still going on. Oct 30, 2020 at 23:53

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