My textbook says this use of the present perfect has the meaning of the present perfect continuous, as there is an indication of the period (in thirty years).

It also says that changed here can't have terminative meaning, only durative.

But there is a doubt I understand the textbook in the right way.

So what's the meaning?

Is it that he never changed during all those years?

  • Well, I don't think he's been changing in thirty years makes little sense. – Alan Carmack May 16 '16 at 16:54

Simple Past: He never changed in thirty years. - past time period (for example 1970-2000)

Present Perfect : He hasn't changed in thirty years. (1986 - 2016) (starting in the past, up to today)

Present Perfect Continuous is for an action he HAS been doing for thirty years. Present Perfect is for an action that HASN'T happened in thirty years.

  • I understand what Past Simple would mean. I also understand 'He hasn't changed' has the Present Perfect form. My question is whether the Present Perfect in this case has meaning of the Present Perfect Continuous. And if not, if it has the meaning of genuine Present Perfect, how can it coexist with indication of period in one sentence? – Pavel Tarouts May 16 '16 at 16:11
  • @PavelTarouts See edited answer. – Cathy Gartaganis May 16 '16 at 16:18
  • 1
    @PavelTarouts It's perfectly acceptable to use the present perfect with temporal expressions which include the present. – StoneyB May 16 '16 at 16:19
  • Thank you guys. So it's the Present Perfect proper as my textbook calls it (as opposed to the Present Perfect II, that has the meaning of the Present Perfect Continuous, like 'I've slept it this bed since I was a child'). – Pavel Tarouts May 16 '16 at 16:42
  • @PavelTarouts or: I've been sleeping in this bed since I was a child. But: I haven't slept in this bed since I was a child. – Cathy Gartaganis May 16 '16 at 16:46

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