Which one is correct, or if both, what is difference between "has been taken residency" and "has been taking residency"?

EDIT: few more details about the question

I write this phrase in "proof of address" letter for tenants living in my house. I am based in United Kingdom.

Full sentence:

This is to confirm that John Doe has been taking residency at the property since XXX.

  • 1
    Some AmE speakers may be happy to use take residency in the context of a medical graduate who has completed an internship and is engaged in further, often specialized, training in a hospital department (definition from OED). But that's a highly specialised usage which doesn't even occur often enough to graph in NGrams. Normally you take [up] residence when you start living somewhere. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 13:37
  • 1
    Martin: I don't think this question can be properly answered until you clarify the context. Note that has been taken residency is syntactically invalid, and has been taking residency is semantically problematic (for the same reason as you can't really say I have been taking citizenship - it's a one-off action, not a continuous state of affairs). But it may well make a difference whether you mean residence in the sense of the hospital position a junior doctor can take [up], or the more general sense of residing, living somewhere. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:34
  • Oh dear, I had no idea residency has that many meanings... Please see edited question, I added more details.
    – Martin
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:42
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    Martin: I suggest you don't want any form of take at all. You could say John Doe has been resident at the property since XXX, but it's a bit "stuffy". I'd just say John Doe has resided at the property since XXX (or more likely, has lived). When in doubt, stick to the simpler forms. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:51
  • Papa has been a rollling stone, wherever he has been laying his hat he has been taking residency.
    – user26236
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


Answering your edited question:

Either the present perfect or present perfect continuous are fine, but in a more idiomatic usage:

This is to confirm that...

and then

...John Doe has resided/lived at the property since xxx.


...John Doe has been residing/living at the property since XXX.

With since both tenses indicate that the stated action started in the past and continues to the moment of writing.

The difference between the two tenses with since is subtle and not worth worrying about, as they do no affect your purpose.

To wit: the continuous simply stretches out the act of living (or residing) rather than presenting it as a punctiliar event. However, the continuous also is used very often to present a situation that is of limited duration and may soon change.

He's been living here since 2013 but he'll be moving next year.

But again, in your context and purpose, either tense is fine, although I prefer the present perfect (non continuous).


Correct grammar would be:

has taken residency


has been taking residency

In your example residency is the thing which has been taken, so you could say "residency has been taken", but this would sound unnatural to a native speaker in most scenarios.

  • As a BrE speaker I'm not very familiar with the (primarily AmE) usage resident physician, but it seems unlikely to me many speakers would use the continuous form of the verb to reference it. To me, He has been taking residency is akin to He has been taking the job. Which doesn't really make sense, since taking residency is like accepting a job - you either do it or you don't; you can keep doing it. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 13:48
  • OH! I didn't even think about doctors! I was purely thinking about national residency, as in "he has been taking residency in Germany". For doctors, I think "he did his residency" would actually be the more common usage. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:01
  • I've been circumspect about OP's usage because taking [up] residency in the hospital job sense is essentially an AmE usage. But I think I can confidently say He has been taking residency in Germany is completely unidiomatic for the sense of He has been living in Germany. You can't do that "continuously", so if you want to use a word based on reside = live, dwell, it would have to be the one-off action He took [up] residence in Germany. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 14:20
  • Fair, in which case "he has been resident in Germany" would probably be preferable to "he has been taking residency in Germany". Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 15:51
  • Well, we'd need to ask a US doctor whether He took [up] residence/residency at our local hospital could validly be used for the specialised period of training [in a hosptital] sense. In which case it's at least feasible you could use the continuous form of the verb in that context (though it sounds "odd" to me as a non-medical non-AmE speaker). But apparently OP is asking about the more general sense, where it's not just "preferable" to avoid the continuous - I'd say it's logically/syntactically unacceptable to use it. Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 17:20

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