Submitted by mariskova on December 16, 2005

Live or Living

If I come from country A, but currently I am in country B (for 5-10 years/study or job assignment) what tenses do I use for this sentence (situation: when I have to introduce myself)? -I live in B -I am living in B

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"I live in B" has the verb "live" in the simple present. in "I am living in B" the same verb is in the continuous present. Categorizations aside, when it comes down to introducing yourself, the sentence you choose will depend upon how you see yourself with respect to B. "I live in B" carries the sense that B is your home, that you are based there. "I am living in B," on the other hand, connotes a more temporary relationship with B. That is to say, that B is merely where you reside at the moment, but you do not consider it your home.

When it comes down to it, nobody really cares which one you use and no one will judge your affiliations one way or the other. The difference here is terribly subtle.

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There can be no absolute gramatical rule.

Furthermore, it depends on the country.

Some countries treat non-nationals who have lived in-country for decades as tourists, temporary visitors.

The result is that the non-national may say "I am living in country X" even if s/he's been there for 20 years.

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live vs. living

In short: -ing forms are temporary, at-a-point-in-time things:
He's eating (right NOW. Can you call back when the meal is over?)
We were waiting (THEN the bus came)
She's been living here (for five years. She MIGHT continue...)
He had been working (as a waiter WHEN he was discoveed and became a pop star)
etc..

The concept / intention / context will help a lot:
I'm living here (but don't expect to stay here very long)
I live here (this is my home. Who knows if I'll ever move?... OR... I'll have to go back to my home country at some point, though)

Good luck!

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ıt's okak my friend...

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There is no important difference in meaning between these two forms as given. The difference would come from the rest of the thought probably.
1. I live in France (in the summer and German in the winter). I live in Scotland (because I love long-haired cows).
2. I am living in Poland (now, but will return to Latvia next year). I am living in Canada (because there were no jobs for carpenters in Estonia).
3. I live in Florence near the river. I am living in Florence near the river. These two versions mean the same thing to me in the absence of other words.

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My home is in France. I am here (in country B) for a few years on assignment.

I love your work. What exactly is it that you do?

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The sentence I AM LIVING IN X on its own would to me suggest there was a chance of the speaker having lived elsewhere in the past, or moving on elsewhere in the future, ie it suggests something temporary.

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The thing is, this person now lives in country B, only for 5-10 years. He comes from country A, and after he finishes his study, he will (definitely) return to his home country. So, if he needs to say such sentence, is it possible for him (now) to say: I live in B? instead of I'm living in B? (because it's only temporary)

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Yes, it is okay for him/her to say that.

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While "I am living in B" does suggest something temporary, do note that "I live in B" does not preclude a temporary arrangement. Thus, in the example you gave, either would be acceptable unless you intentionally wanted to make it clear that your arrangement was temporary.

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