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When talking about moving out of a childhood home imminently and standing outside either present perfect, present perfect continuous or past simple is used: "I am moving to a new house today. I have been living/I have lived/I lived in this house for thirty years". But when talking about switching to a new course and moving to a new office, I mean leaving your current job, can I use either present perfect, present perfect continuous and past simple in the same way as in the moving out of the house example? This is said when leaving the office building while standing outside.

  1. "I have worked here for five years. I enjoyed every minute of it."

  2. "I have been working here for five years. I enjoyed every minute of it."

  3. "I worked here for five years. I enjoyed every minute of it."

  4. "I have been learning English/I have learnt English/I learnt English for two months. I am starting my French course tomorrow." This is said after the last English class.

Is either tense used in these examples too?

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The present perfect continuous tense doesn't really work in your examples, because there is no longer a continuation.

However, in situations like your examples, when you are on the cusp of something ending, the perfect progressive tense is fine.

So, your example 1 is correct:

I have worked here for five years. I enjoyed every minute of it."

Saying "I have worked here" only means that you are still there, not necessarily that you are still working. "I enjoyed every minute of it" suggests that your time there is over.

Your example 2 doesn't sound right because of the continuous tense. It implies that your work is continuing. It conflicts with the second statement that there is no time left there to enjoy.

Example 3 is okay grammatically, but is only correct if your employment is over. For example, if you had clocked out, or left the building, and were still using "here" in a looser sense.


With your last, unrelated example, I'd advise against using "learnt" if your learning is still ongoing - this is the past participle of learn and would imply that your learning is complete and there is nothing else to learn. A better verb might be studied. You can study something for a fixed amount of time and still have more to learn.

If you mean that your English learning is continuing and your French learning is about to start in parallel to this, you should say:

I have been studying English for two months. I am starting my French course tomorrow.

The present perfect continuous tense is fine if your English learning will continue.

If you mean that one course has ended and a new one is about to begin, say:

I studied English for two months. I am starting my French course tomorrow.

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  • Thank you. Sorry, but I don't understand this part: The present perfect continuous tense doesn't really work in your examples, because there is no longer a continuation. However, in situations like your examples, when you are on the cusp of something ending, the perfect progressive tense is fine. Aug 16, 2021 at 15:25
  • Do you mean "I have been working" and "I have been living" are correct? When I am living the house and office building and say that. Aug 16, 2021 at 15:25
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    "I have been living/working here for X years" implies that you still are, so it is not appropriate if you are moving out or leaving the job today. Aug 16, 2021 at 15:40
  • If I say "I have worked/I have lived/I have studied if I am moving out or leaving the job today would they be appropriate? As Astralbee explains "However, in situations like your examples, when you are on the cusp of something ending, the perfect progressive tense is fine." Do I understand correctly present perfect continuous can be used in my examples in this comment with studying/ working/living even if the action is no longer continuing. Or perhaps I misunderstand being on the cusp of something ending part :( Aug 16, 2021 at 18:22
  • @Astralbee You say: "the perfect progressive is fine" don't you mean the present perfect simple? "i have worked here for 5 years.
    – anouk
    Mar 20 at 14:12

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