HomeQ&A"Have lived" or "have been living"

"Have lived" or "have been living"

1
vote

I am curious about these sentences:

How long have you lived in Madrid?

How long have you been living in Madrid?

With this two sentences, is it supposed you still live in Madrid?

Thank you in advance.

13629 views
updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45

9 Answers

1
vote

Yes, Nila, I think both of them imply that you still live there. If you no longer lived there a better question would be "How long did you live in Madrid?" smile

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by Valerie
Yes, I suspected something like this, but as I was not very sure... thank you. - nila45, DIC 21, 2009
2
votes

Nila

"How long have you lived in Madrid?" This one "could" indicate that you no longer live in Madrid, but would probably be phrased as "How long did you live in Madrid."

How long have you been living in Madrid? This one for sure indicates that you are still living in Madrid.

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by ian-hill
1
vote

In it's most common context, "How long could you have lived in Madrid?" doesn't mean you don't think they lived there, but that you don't think they lived there very long. "How long could you have been living in Madrid?" has the same implication, but implicitly references some point in time in the past.

Then, here "could" is not translate as "podrías" but as "es probable".

How long could you have lived in Madrid? (¿Cuánto tiempo es probable que hayas vivido en Madrid?)

How long could you have been living in Madrid? (¿Cuánto tiempo es probable que hayas estado viviendo en Madrid?)

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
1
vote

In it's most common context, "How long could you have lived in Madrid?" doesn't mean you don't think they lived there, but that you don't think they lived there very long. "How long could you have been living in Madrid?" has the same implication, but implicitly references some point in time in the past.

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by lorenzo9
1
vote

How long could you have lived in Madrid? Then, it is probably you no longer in Madrid but it is not completely sure. Is that? Then, it would be the same as: How long could you have been living in Madrid?

The use of "could" here has a different meaning. The first sentence either means how long did you have the opportunity to live in Madrid (but didn't), or that you know they lived elsewhere and there is a limit on how long they have lived in Madrid. It has nothing to do with whether or not they still live in Madrid. Neither of these sentences would commonly be said by a native speaker.

updated DIC 21, 2009
posted by lorenzo9
1
vote

Both sentences are in present-perfect tense - past & present combined (yesterday & today & probably tomorrow). Present-perfect also indicates a long period of time with possible end. Present-perfect continuous indicates a short period of time and continued action; hence, continuous.

It's the same as in Spanish: ¿Por cuánto has vivido en Madrid? (Mucho tiempo). ¿Por cuánto has estado viviendo en Madrid? (Menos tiempo, pero con toda aseguranza que seguirás allí).

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by 005faa61
posted by 005faa61
0
votes

How long could you have lived in Madrid?

How long could you have been living in Madrid?

Neither of these sentences would commonly be said by a native speaker.

The first part of your explanation has been well-understood by me. But, I have some doubts about why "neither of these sentences would commonly be said by a native speaker".

I mean, if you ask these questions (with "could") I understand that you are asking about the possitility of having lived or not having lived in Madrid. And also, I understand that you want to know the amount of time they lived in Madrid before going to live somewhere else.

Then, I think that with this sense, you can use these two sentences. Don't you think?

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
Nila you could use the sentences but onnly in very specific, and unusual circumstances - ian-hill, DIC 21, 2009
0
votes

It's the same as in Spanish: ¿Por cuánto has vivido en Madrid? (Mucho tiempo). ¿Por cuánto has estado viviendo en Madrid? (Menos tiempo, pero con toda aseguranza que seguirás allí).

The problem is that, in these examples, it is not the same as in Spanish.

¿Cuánto tiempo has vivido en Madrid?. It is probable you still to live there, but also, it is probable you not to live there.

¿Cuánto tiempo has estado viviendo en Madrid? It is probable you still to live there, but also, it is probable you not to live there.

Then, I have realised that in English, as it isn't the same, the person who asks the question assumes that he still lives in Madrid.

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
Entonces, el español que se usa en España es differente de lo que se habla en México DF - en este sentido. - 005faa61, DIC 21, 2009
0
votes

Ian, do you want to say this:?

How long could you have lived in Madrid?

Then, it is probably you no longer in Madrid but it is not completely sure. Is that?

Then, it would be the same as:

How long could you have been living in Madrid?

Anyway, I think that if with the two first sentences, I still live in Madrid, it is probably that these other sentences to be similar to the first ones. I mean, with these others, I also want to say that I still live in Madrid.

The fact of that I use "could" is because you couldn't remember the amount of time because you do not still live in Madrid. Under that point of view, it could be debatable.

updated DIC 21, 2009
edited by nila45
posted by nila45
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