Complete the following sentence :

I live in New York, but I ___________ (live) in Mexico for many years.

what should we use "lived" or "have lived" and why ? what is the difference in meaning ? and which one is correct ?

I think that both are correct, but this sentence is a little bit vague.This sentence can be treated as life experience of a person(present perfect), or something that happened in the past (past simple), but the Essential Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy that "lived" is the only correct answer.

I really don't know how to use these tenses correctly ? Can you help me ?

  • 1
    "I have lived in Mexico for many years" means you still live there.
    – TypeIA
    Aug 28, 2019 at 23:03
  • @TypeIA, Why not t use it as a life experience like : I have seen this movie three times. This is a finished event. Aug 28, 2019 at 23:06
  • Lived is not the only correct answer. (Unless you have a specific set of choices, which hasn't been mentioned.) Any of these would work for the blank (although not all would be as natural): lived, used to live, did live, was living and had been living.. As previously mentioned, have lived implies the present here. For the present, it would only make sense if you had a house in both places; if you did it would sound better as but I have also lived in. (It follows live, so it is far more likely to be interpreted as the present, contextually, but the past is possible.) Aug 28, 2019 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


I have read Raymond Murphy's Grammar book many times.

In the example he was showing the difference between Present perfect and the simple past.

I have lived in Mexico for many years means two things

1 He has lived in Mexico for many years and he is still living there

2 He has lived in Mexico for many years and he is no longer there and he has been to some where else

In order to avoid the confusion and to show the contrast Murphy preferred the simple past

So "I live in New york but I lived in Mexico for many years "is clear and considered correct

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