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Could you correct the comments in parentheses, please? Are they right?

  1. I have lived in Los Angeles. (A completed action; the person does not live there anymore).

  2. I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person is still living there, or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location).

  3. I have been living in Los Angeles. (She doesn't live there anymore, but was living there recently, or is still living there).

  4. I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person is still living there or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location).

Thanks

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No, they’re not right. But about your 0% accept rate — is that right? –  tchrist May 12 '12 at 13:23
    
O% accept rate? What does it mean? –  Monica May 12 '12 at 13:37
    
It refers to having or not having accepted the answers you got to questions you asked. Normally, you are supposed to accept the best answer to your questions, the one which in your opinion is complete and knowledgeable. –  Paola May 12 '12 at 14:22
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I think there is a difference between "my whole life" and "the past three years". If you say "my whole life", it's very likely to include the present. If you say "the past three years", the present need not be included. You may be getting confused because you expect that the answers will be the same for these two expressions. –  Peter Shor May 16 '12 at 10:57
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One other thing to note is that "living" is somewhat special in that it refers to a state that is not easily changed. The present perfect continuous/progressive can refer to something that very recently stopped, but "living" is not something that changes that fast. I am sweaty because I have been jogging in the park means I was recently jogging but am no logger jogging. Context is really important with these verb tenses. –  Old Pro May 17 '12 at 8:08
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6 Answers 6

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  1. "I have lived in Los Angeles" (Correct or "I lived in Los Angeles" is acceptable, depending on the context if A completed action, if the person does not live there anymore).

  2. "I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life." (Correct if the person is still living there, or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location).

  3. "I have been living in Los Angeles." (Incorrect if She doesn't live there anymore, but was living there recently, but Correct if she is still living there).

  4. "I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life." (Incorrect if the person is still living there or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location. "I lived in Los Angeles my whole life" is the correct phrasing).

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The first one seems fine, but here's how I'd tweak your other explanations:

2) I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person has spent her whole life in Los Angeles, and is still living there).

3) I have been living in Los Angeles. (She currently lives in L.A., and has been doing so for some time).

4) I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life. (She currently lives in L.A., and has always lived there).


As to how to express what you wrote in parentheses:

If I wanted to express, "The person [me] is still living in Los Angeles," I would say:

I am living in Los Angeles.

If I wanted to express, "The person doesn't live there anymore, but was living there recently," I would say:

I had been living in Los Angeles.

If I wanted to express, "The person spent a whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location," I would say:

I had been living in Los Angeles my whole life.

or maybe:

Until I moved here, I had lived in Los Angeles my whole life.

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I noticed that with the time added ("for three years" or "my whole life") present perfect implies that the action is still happening and without the 'for three years,' 'my whole life', etc present perfect implies that the action has finished. Is it really so? Could you check if my comments are right? –  Monica May 16 '12 at 10:11
    
My Examples; I have had a cold for two weeks.(The peson may or may not have a cold right now) She has been in England for six months.(She may or may not be there right now) –  Monica May 16 '12 at 10:13
    
Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.(She may or may not love chocolate right now/anymore I have lived in France for five years/my whole life.( I may or may not be living there right now) –  Monica May 16 '12 at 10:13
    
Without the time mentioned I have had a cold.(I don't have a cold right now) She has been in England(She is not there right now) Mary has loved chocolate.(She doesn't love it anymore) I have lived in France.(I don't live there right now) Thanks –  Monica May 16 '12 at 10:14
    
It's hard to answer in just one comment, but you might find this website helpful. Under what that page calls USE 1, see what it says about Time Expressions with Present Perfect (scroll down below TOPIC 5). "I have had a cold for 2 weeks" could mean you have a cold now, and it's persisted for two weeks, OR that you once had a cold that lasted for two weeks. "I have lived in France for 5 years" probably infers you still live there (otherwise you'd say, "I lived in France for 5 years"). –  J.R. May 16 '12 at 10:18
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1 . I have lived in Los Angeles. (A completed action; the person does not live there anymore).

No change required.

2 . I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person is still living there, or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location).

Corrected version:

The person has spent her whole life in Los Angeles. But right now, she may or may not be living there.

3 . I have been living in Los Angeles. (She doesn't live there anymore, but was living there recently, or is still living there).

Corrected version:

She is living in Los Angeles right now. Although she could have been living anywhere before, not necessarily Los Angeles.

4 . I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person is still living there or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but is currently living in another location).

Corrected version:

The person has spent her whole life in Los Angeles and is still living there.

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I disagree on #2. I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life (or even I have lived in Los Angeles for 2 years) means she is still living in Los Angeles. The only difference between #2 and #4 is that #4 stresses how long she has been living there rather than where she was living. –  Old Pro May 17 '12 at 7:51
    
Thank you for pointing this out to me, Old Pro. So when present perfect is used with 'For five minutes," "for two weeks," "since Tuesday", etc it implies that the action is still in progress and never that it has finished, right? –  Monica May 17 '12 at 10:48
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@OldPro Suppose a person has lived his whole life (don't read it literally) in LA and is currently living in NY. Then while talking with his friends in NY, he may say something like this: "That's wrong what you just said about LA. I have lived there my whole life". And a similar statement can be made if he still lives in LA and is talking to people in LA. That's why my answer says: The person has spent her whole life in Los Angeles. But right now, she may or may not be living there. –  user20934 May 17 '12 at 12:21
    
I am grateful to you for your reply, rudra. Honestly, your 'may or may not be living there' prevented me from being confused. :) –  Monica May 17 '12 at 13:41
    
@Monica Why have i been voted down? –  user20934 May 17 '12 at 15:01
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  1. I have lived in Los Angeles. (A completed action; the person does not live there anymore. The person lived there for an indefinite amount of time).
  2. I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person is still living there, having spent almost her whole life in Los Angeles. but is currently living in another location).
  3. I have been living in Los Angeles. (She doesn't live there anymore, but was living there recently, or is still living there She has lived there for an indefinite period, continues to live there presently and may continue living there in the foreseeable future).
  4. I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life. (The person is still living there or spent her whole life in Los Angeles, but and is currently living in another same location).
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The first suggests the speaker does not still live in Los Angeles, whereas the other three don't specifically imply whether or not the speaker still does.

To my ear, I would understand these sentences as follows:

I have lived in Los Angeles.

The speaker has lived in L.A. in the past, but currently does not. Example: "Where have you lived?" "I've lived in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami."

I have lived in Los Angeles my whole life.

The speaker has spent their whole life so far living in L.A., and may or may not still live there (if not currently, then recently). Example: "Why do you want to move to Boston?" "I've lived in Los Angeles my whole life, and am getting sick of the west coast." or "Have you been living in Boston long?" "No, I've lived in Los Angeles my whole life, and just moved here a few weeks ago."

I have been living in Los Angeles.

The speaker has been living in L.A. for a while, and may or may not still live there. Example: "I haven't seen or heard from you in a while. What have you been up to?" "I've been living in Los Angeles. It's great!" or "Welcome back to Houston! Where've you been?" "I've been living in Los Angeles, but got homesick after a couple years."

I have been living in Los Angeles my whole life.

Similar to the second example, but more likely to mean the speaker is still living in L.A.

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(1) I have lived in LA.

Present Perfect, no duration adverb => a completed action (a default reading). I no longer live in LA.

(3) I have been living in LA.

Present Perfect Progressive => a continuing action. I am still living in LA.

(2) I have lived in LA my whole life.

(4) I have been living in LA my whole life.

In A Comprehensive grammar of the English language, Quirk et al. argue that, because of the lengthy time scale (my whole life), sentence (4) is less likely than (2), but by no means unacceptable. Some speakers don't see any difference between (2) and (4), some do.

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