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Why is it not "J'ai habité DEPUIS cinq ans"?

CB

Kwiziq community member

15 April 2017

3 replies

Why is it not "J'ai habité DEPUIS cinq ans"?

This is what I seem to recall having been taught at school (admittedly, a very long time ago!).

This relates to:
Il y a + duration = Ago (expressions of time) -

CB

Kwiziq community member

15 April 2017

15/04/17

Sorry - meant to type "J'ai habité ici DEPUIS cinq ans."!!!

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

18 April 2017

18/04/17

Bonjour CB !

"Depuis" implies that the action is not yet finished, it is still ongoing in the present (you're still living there), which in French is incompatible with Le Passé Composé. This tense only refers to actions that are past and over with in French, similarly to the Simple Past in English (I lived there).
If you wanted to express that you lived there for five years, but it's over now, you wouldn't use the word "depuis" but "pendant" (during), as such:
"J'ai habité à Paris pendant cinq ans, mais maintenant j'habite à Londres."

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

CB

Kwiziq community member

18 April 2017

18/04/17

Thank you for that clarification. Now I merely have to commit it to memory!!!

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