Sometimes people learning English use the past tense when they should use the present perfect. Here's an example of three common mistakes.
I lived in Minnesota for 10 years.
(ok, but it sounds like he is no longer there and lives in another place.)
I am living in Minnesota 10 years. (wrong)
I live in Minnesota 10 years. (wrong)
This person wants to say that he moved to Minnesota 10 years ago and is still there. In this case the present perfect is a good choice:
I have lived in Minnesota for 10 years. (correct!)
I have lived in Minnesota since 1996.
Notice also that for and since are often used in the present perfect. For is used with numbers of days, weeks, months, years, centuries, etc., and since is used with specified days, months and years.
The present perfect is used for three reasons:
To describe an action that goes from the past up to the present moment.
To describe an action that occurred sometime in the past but the exact time is unknown.
To describe an action that was repeated many times in the past.
Contractions are usually used with this tense:
I've lived, you've lived, he's lived, she's lived, etc.
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