0

I have a problem in the interpretation of the following sentences in the present perfect tense.

1) I have worked for them since 2006.

Does it mean I am still working for them or I don't work for them any more?

2) I have lived in this house since 2006.

Does it mean I am still living in the mentioned house or I don't live in this house anymore?

EDIT: Please note that there is time expressions in both sentences.

marked as duplicate by Drew, Mari-Lou A, Nathaniel, Sven Yargs, choster Jan 8 '16 at 2:18

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2

The default interpretation of these sentences is that they exhibit the continuative or universal perfect, which represents the state designated by the lexical verb as continuing throughout the designated timeframe up to the present. A hearer assumes that they mean that you are still working for the company and still live in the house.

However, this interpretation is an implicature, not an entailment—it may be cancelled by other conditions within the discourse context. If that is the case, the sentences will be reinterpreted, probably as existential or experiential perfects, which represents the eventuality designated by the lexical verb as having occurred at least once before the present. For instance:

A lot of people say that H&P Systems has become very unfriendly and exploitative to freelance programmers since Phil Sartorius became CEO in 2006. But I have worked with this company since 2006, on several occasions, and have never encountered anything to complain of.

There are also resultative or stative perfects, which represents the eventuality designated by the lexical as having occurred at least once before the present and having given rise to a state which still obtains in the present; but it is difficult to conceive circumstances in which a stative verb like live gives rise to another state. Here's a marginal possibility:

Your notice states that anyone who lived in the house after the industrial in 2006 is eligible for compensation from the defendant. I have lived in the house since 2006—for three months in 2010—and believe I am therefore eligible for this compensation.

Some authorities also recognize a recency or hot-news perfect; but the scholar who first proposed this, James McCawley, subsequently withdrew it as a special case of the others.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.