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Hi, I am confused about the meaning associated with the present perfect with stative verbs like "live" and "be" when they are not used with durational phrases.

For example,

(1) Mike has lived in Paris.

(2) Mike has been in Paris.

I know when you say "Mike has lived in Paris for two years," it means the same as "Mike has been living in Paris for two years. (he still lives in Paris)". The same is also true with "Mike has been in Paris for two days."

What I am not sure is about sentences like (1) and (2) that do not have durational phrases such as "for two years/for two days." Does (1) above mean that Mike lived in Paris before but he does not live there now, i.e. he just has a past experience of living in Paris and he no longer lives there, or does it meansthat he still lives in Paris? How about (2)-- does it mean that Mike has been to Paris before, or he's still in Paris?

I know that in the case of dynamic verbs like 'work', "Mike has worked in this company for 5 years" and "Mike has worked in this company" describe different situation,i.e. only in the first sentence with durational phrase, we can mean that Mike still works at this company. Does this absence/presence of durational phrase have similar effect on verbs like 'live' and 'be' in (1) and (2)?

Please help me with this. Thank you.

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Hi, Shmom—Present-perfect sentences with stative verbs can be interpreted in two different ways with or without a phrase specifying duration. "Mike has lived in / been in Paris for two years" can mean either (a) that the two-year period has extended up till the time of speech, in which case Mike is likely still (living) in Paris, or (b) that Mike has, sometime in the past, perhaps even decades ago, lived in or been in Paris for a two-year stretch of time. When we take out the phrase of duration, we are left only with the (b)-type meaning.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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