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Let's look at the sentence:

I've been working here for two years.

This sentence means that I'm still working. Right?

I have worked here for two years.

I worked here for two years.

What's the meaning of these two sentences?How do these two differ from the first one? Do I still work here or I left ? One is in present perfect tense and the other is in past simple. How do they differ in their meanings? When to use them?

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5 Answers 5

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I've been working here for two years.
This sentence means that I'm still working. Right?

Yes, that is what I'd take it to mean.

I have worked here for two years.

I would take this to mean functionally the same thing- that you are still working there. I would find it strange for a native speaker to phrase it this way if they are speaking about a place they are no longer working- at least in casual conversation. I could see it being used to answer a formal question like, "You have worked here for two years in the past, correct?" And then answering "Yes- I have worked here for two years", but even then, it would be much more natural to end that response with "before".

I worked here for two years.

I would not necessarily interpret this as meaning that the speaker is still working there. For example, someone could say this to someone else when revisiting somewhere where they once worked, but are no longer working anymore.

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The present perfect is normally understood to mean action that continues to the present. Thus, "I have worked here for two years" implies that you still work here.

The simple past indicates actions that is complete. "I worked here for two years" would normally be used when you no longer work here. I say that cautiously because the simple past doesn't rule out the possibility that the action continues. You might use a simple past instead of a present perfect if you want to clearly state that you performed the action at a specific time. Like if the doctor asks, "When did the pain begin?", you might reply, "I was in pain Wednesday", not necessarily meaning that you are no longer in pain. (Though in practice, an English speaker would probably say, "I have been in pain since Wednesday.")

In this example, there is no real difference in meaning between "I have been working here" and "I have worked here". They are the same here because "work" is normally understood to be a continuous process. It would be different if it was something that you would do on and off. Like, "I have been eating lunch since 1 o'clock" implies you are still eating lunch and have been continuously since that time. "I have eaten lunch at Rinaldo's" means you have eaten there, probably multiple times, but not that you are in the process of eating there now.

But a lot of these distinctions depend on other words in the sentence. "I have been eating lucnh at Rinaldo's for the past two years" ... you probably haven't been continuously eating there for two straight years.

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  • You're fired!. -- But I have worked here for ten years! Why, sir? Sep 30, 2023 at 21:48
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Present Perfect Continuous Tense- I've been working here for two years. (I still work here)

Present Perfect Tense- I have worked here for two years. (I still work here)

Simple Past Tense- I worked here for two years. (I no loner work here. I worked in the past)

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I agree with others for the 1st and 3rd sentence.

The second sentence "I have worked here for two years." does not always mean "you still work there".

It would not be natural in its current form to emphasize you still work there and the sentence was only a made up one (not resulting from a real context), and that is why it does not sound natural to emphasize that continuity. It would not have been said for this purpose in a real life situation.

Actually, the Present perfect with the number of years is not used to emphasize the fact that "you you are still working there." (In that case, you would use perfect countinous.) But it is used to emphasize the experience, the action itself, may be the effect of that process in your life.

For instance, if you are not a sports fan and someday if you played unexpectedly better than your peers, somebody might get surprised and ask you "Wow, you play football very well. That was shocking. I didn't know that".

Considering your experience when you were at school team for 2 years, you might say "I have played football for 2 years." (It does not mean that you are still playing there. It means it has an effect on my life which you can still see. I have such an experience of 2 years.

I hope I was able to explain.

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Consider:

I've been working here for two years and have yet to receive a salary increase.

I have worked here for two years and hope to work here for two more years.

I worked here for two years before I received a salary increase.

The present perfect implies a fact that is true or relevant up to the time of the utterance, and which may be true or false (i.e. applicable or no longer applicable) at the time of the utterance.

Boss: You're fired!

Employee: Why, sir? I have worked here for ten years and have always received "meets or exceeds expectations" on my reviews.

The present perfect continuous emphasizes the ongoing nature of an act or behavior that has been happening, or a condition that has been in effect, up to the time of the utterance, and which may or may not be happening or be in effect at the time of the utterance.

I have been working here for two years and am still waiting for a raise, even though my reviews show I'm a good employee.

I have been working here for two years and have just received a raise!

I have been working here for two years and have just received a pink slip.

The simple past is used with conditions that were in effect or actions that took place in the past, and it is silent with respect to the present:

I worked at Acme Widgets for two years before I received a raise. So I said goodbye to you, boss, I'm leaving for greener pastures.

I worked at Acme Widgets for two years before I received a raise, but when the raise came, it was a big one, so my advice is, don't be impatient.

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