I've a question about whether to use the present perfect or past simple in the following sentence:

  1. Samantha has lived/lived in Berlin for more than two years.

The above sentence has been obtained from the following webpage (see sentence 8): https://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbs29practicetest.htm

The answers from englishpage.com indicate that one should use the past simple tense. Though, I do not necessarily agree, as I think that has lived is a better answer (or both tenses, thus not only the past simple).

As Cambridge Dictionary notes: (1) "We use the past simple to refer to definite time in the past (when we specify the time or how long)..." and (2) "We use the present perfect to talk about time up to now, that is, events that took place in the past but which connect with the present."

So, which tense would you use and why?

Much appreciated!


  • 1
    "Has lived" implies that she's still living there (or just recently left).
    – Hot Licks
    May 7, 2020 at 1:26
  • 2
    And I'm pretty sure this is a dupe -- the question comes up about once a week.
    – Hot Licks
    May 7, 2020 at 1:28
  • @HotLicks I agree. "Has lived" does imply that she's still living there. Though, the sentence does not indicate otherwise (nor corroborate that she's not living there). Therefore, isn't safe to use the present perfect?
    – Jan
    May 7, 2020 at 1:33
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? When to use "has lived" vs. "lived" vs. "had lived"
    – Laurel
    May 7, 2020 at 2:14
  • 2
    There cannot be a "better answer" if we aren't told if she's still living there or not. Context is essential here. If that information isn't given, then either it's impossible to answer, or it simply comes down to a matter of personal opinion as to which makes the sentence as a whole flow better in terms of cadence and pronunciation. That's fine for style, but not for grammar. May 7, 2020 at 2:54

1 Answer 1


Both are correct, they just have different meanings: - "she has lived in Berlin for 2 years" means she is still living there, and it's been 2 years since she started living there. - "she lived in Paris for 2 years" means it was in the past, but not in the present any longer. Like "When she was a student she lived in Paris for 2 years, now she lives in Berlin".

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