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What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?

"In this small town, she has been living a happy life."
"In this small town, she has lived a happy life."

My guess: "She has been living a happy life" connotes that she is still leading a happy life now.

"She has lived a happy life" means that her life has been happy up to the moment.

Am I correct?

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Snappy

What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?

"In this small town, she has been living a happy life."
"In this small town, she has lived a happy life."

My guess: "She has been living a happy life" connotes that she is still leading a happy life now.

"She has lived a happy life" means that her life has been happy up to the moment.

Am I correct?

Everybody will have a different take on this, but one thing that comes to mind for me is that "she" is an older woman in "She has lived a happy life". It sounds like maybe she is going to die soon. I don't get that impression from the other sentence. That one (with "has been living") gives me the slight impression that she moved to that town fairly recently and it's "so far, so good". It seems like she feels that she made a good decision, and she's going to stay a while longer.

So as you see, that doesn't really answer your question exactly because it takes a different view of the difference. For me it's the difference of, for lack of a better word, "impressions".

CJ

Comments  

The basic meaning is similar: the woman lives in this small town and is happy there. The difference is mainly stylistic: the first sentence is longer and stylistically more pleasant-sounding.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.