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What is the difference between the following two structures?

Have you been back home in the last ten years?

Have you been back home for the last ten years?

Could we also replace the present perfect with simple past as in the following:

Did you go back home in the last ten years?

Did you go back home for the last ten years? (this one doesn't seem to be in accordance with the law of the books, but I don't see any problem with the structure assuming the person has visited once in the past 10 years at a particular time).

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2 Answers 2

The distinction is between "occurring at least once during the period" (Yes: I've visited home three times in the last ten years.) and "duration throughout the period" (No, I was living abroad for half of 2003 and all of 2008.)

The distinction remains the same in the past tense as in the present tense.

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in, when used with a period of time, means "at some or any point in that interval", whereas for means "for the duration of the interval".

So your questions can be interpreted in this way:

Have you been back home in the last ten years? (Have you been back home at any point in the last 10 years?)

Have you been back home for the last ten years? (Have you spent the last 10 years at home?)

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