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Is "settled" used properly in the following?

John has settled in New York for ages.

Should 'settled" be changed to "been settled"?

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  • You are correct. To my American ears, "settled" describes a state, an action, and a process. Take your pick. Sep 21 '21 at 13:51
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    Settled doesn't sound correct, because "to settle" is a kind of one-time action, not a process. But been settled also sounds a little strange, because since settle is a change of state, it sounds weird with "for ages". I would probably just say "John settled in New York ages ago." Is this a sentence you came up with yourself, or did you see it somewhere?
    – stangdon
    Sep 21 '21 at 13:51
  • @stangdon: I'm good with I've been content here for many years, and I don't really see why settled should be any different when it's effectively an "adjectival" use of the past participle. And there are plenty of written instances of (They) have been settled here for many (years) in Google Books. Sep 21 '21 at 14:26
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Yes, the correct match with "for ages" is "has been settled". Plain past tense would work with a reference to a time in the past.

Here are some examples with different verb forms:

John has been settled in New York for ages.

John settled in New York ages ago.

John is settling in New York, after wanting to live there for ages.

John had been settled in New York for ages before he suddenly bought an RV and started living as a nomad.

John could have been settled in New York for ages, if he hadn't quit his first job there.

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