I expect there's a difference in meaning between the two following sentences:
(1) Have you been in Africa?
(2) Have you been to Africa?
Am I right if I say that the first refers to the hypothesis of living in that continent and the second to simply visiting it?
slocawberAm I right if I say that the first refers to the hypothesis of living in that continent and the second to simply visiting it?
Yes. That's one way of looking at it. In the case of the first one, you would probably say explicitly something about living there, with the verb "live", just to avoid confusion.
For example, I've never lived in Texas, and I've never visited Texas, but I once had a connecting flight there on my way somewhere else, so that qualifies for my saying truthfully that I've been in Texas, but you'd never know in what sense I meant I've been in Texasbut for the fact that I made it explicit in this paragraph what I meant by that. Sometimes you just need more words than you may think you need.
If you mean simply to ask the person whether they have ever traveled to that continent, only 2 is right in US English. If you want to ask whether they have ever had their abode there, number 2 is wrong, and number 1 is insufficient; it would not be understood. You would have to ask "Have you ever lived in Africa?"
No, the first one just comes across as the wording chosen by a learner of English. One of those simple and obvious mistakes that makes those people stand out, like asking where it is instead of where is it?
It's amazing how often we see workbook exercises that have not been adequately proofread for exactly this kind of thing.