The sentence you see in the title is from my English lesson. Thought I was OK with the Present Perfect, but I'm not so confident now.

The explanation says that I can translate this sentence as "they have lived in Paris for 5 years and they still live there (because of NOW)"

As I know, Present Perfect is about something that has started in the past and/or just finished and/or still has the connection with the present.

Probably the connection with the present is about my example, but using the word NOW with the PP and "for...years" seems strange to me.

Is it OK?


It's fine, but in my view it has a meaning not explained in the book (as you have stated it).

They've lived in Paris for five years.

Means that they lived there and either still do so, or have only just left.

They've lived in Paris for five years now.

has the added meaning that the length of time - five years - is noteworthy or significant or surprising.

In either case They've been living in Paris would also be possible.

  • Hello, Colin, thanks for your attention. You are right about the source of the explanation, it isn't from the book (I said, from the lesson). But how do you know? Because it's informal/conversational English? – Compass Apr 9 '18 at 18:43
  • I didn't know if it was or wasn't from the book, but you referred to "the explanation", and I thought you meant that was in the book. – Colin Fine Apr 9 '18 at 21:27

There is absolutely nothing wrong with your example. What does the adverb now generally mean? Well, it basically means as of the present moment or as of the time of speaking. So, to reconcile this use of the adverb now with when it's used along the present perfect tense in the same sentence, just mentally substitute it with either of those two expressions and everything will hopefully fall into place:

As of the present moment, they have lived in Paris for five years.

Does that sound like a legitimate sentence to you now? If it does, then there is really nothing strange with using now there instead.

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