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I would like to know if both of the following sentences are grammatically correct:

  1. I had lived in London before I moved to New York (I just want to talk about where I lived before I moved to another city. Doesn't matter how long I had lived in London and since when I have been living in New York, now I live in NY).

  2. I lived almost 30 years in London before I have recently moved to New York (I used present perfect because I recently moved to New York).

Thanks in advance and best regards!

closed as off-topic by Dan Bron, user140086, tchrist Nov 19 '16 at 3:17

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Sentence 2. is wrong.

You'd never use the Present Perfect ("...I have recently moved...") in a narrative context, when in any way (be it absolute or relative) specifying the time of action. (You do state that your moving to NY came after 30 years of living in London).

You could say "...before (recently) moving to NY" ("before" being used as a preposition, and as such followed by no other verb form than the gerund) - probably the best option, IMO.

Sentence 1 is perfectly ok. You are using the Past Perfect ("I had lived...") for an event that occurred in the past, at an earlier point than another event that also occurred in the past, and that is stated in Simple Past ("I moved..."). "Before" is in this case used as a conjunction, connecting two different clauses.

NOTE: I'm not a native.

  • Thanks for your help, even though your not a native speaker :-) – Ari Nov 19 '16 at 11:31

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