"I've worked here all my life" gives the feeling that is the activity of working is intended to be stopped soon, and "I've been working here here all my life" gives the feeling that I'll continue working here.

Is it correct?

For example, "I've worked here my whole damn life and you've paid me nothing, you animal!" sounds better than "I've been working here my whole damn life... ctnd."

Please help.

  • 1
    These mean slightly different things. If you use the present perfect continuous, "I have been working here", it would mean you are still working there. - you worked there in the past, and are still working there now. The present perfect "I have worked here" doesn't have that same continuous sense. You could use this if you no longer work there. However the addition of a time phrase like "all my life" modifies it to mean something quite similar. So the difference is so subtle here that it really makes little difference with these particular examples.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 15, 2023 at 11:24
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    @BillyKerr: I think ordinarily, "I have worked here all my life" strongly implies I still work here. I think it's only because you're making a forced / artificial distinction between the "simple" perfect and the "continuous" perfect that you say this. A normal speaker would use Simple Past "I worked here all my life" if he no longer worked there at time of utterance. And "all my life" is critical - without it, "I have worked here" means something entirely different. Jul 15, 2023 at 12:23
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    @FumbleFingers. Yes. I agree.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 15, 2023 at 12:29
  • "I have worked here all my life" can still be used if you are still working. This sentence emphasizes effort, experience, years etc in that place. For instance, if you see an old man working in a farm and ask him "Aren't you too old to work in a farm, why don't you stop it." He might say "I like it here. I have worked here all my life. I can't do without this farm."
    – Yunus
    Jul 15, 2023 at 12:30
  • @yunus: Exactly. It's only the context (OP's speaker about to be sacked or resign OR your speaker unable to contemplate not working there) that really affects the matter of whether or not the specified activity might have already ended, be about to end, or is expected to continue indefinitely. Jul 15, 2023 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


Normally, the continuous version would mean the speaker still works there while the bare present perfect version would make it unclear whether they still work there, or have in the past. But with "all my life", it's clear the person still works there no matter which grammar is used.

The only difference is very subtle, and it's the additional focus the continuous aspect brings to the duration of the action. It does not indicate how close that person is to stopping the action. Since in this context the duration is highly relevant, someone is more likely to use the continuous form there, but both are correct and natural.

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