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When my uncle got married in his mid-twenties, my father, who had lived in the house since he was born, moved to Chicago to work for a company there.

Is it OK to use 'lived' in the sentence instead of 'had lived'? If it's OK, what kind of difference do you native speakers detect between:

(a) When my uncle got married in his mid-twenties, my father, who had lived in the house since he was born, moved to Chicago to work for a company there.

and

(b) When my uncle got married in his mid-twenties, my father, who lived in the house since he was born, moved to Chicago to work for a company there.

?
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Taka
When my uncle got married in his mid-twenties, my father, who had lived in the house since he was born, moved to Chicago to work for a company there.
Is it OK to use 'lived' in the sentence instead of 'had lived'? If it's OK, what kind of difference do you native speakers detect between:

(a) When my uncle got married in his mid-twenties, my father, who had lived in the house since he was born, moved to Chicago to work for a company there.

and

(b) When my uncle got married in his mid-twenties, my father, who lived in the house since he was born, moved to Chicago to work for a company there.

?

'Had lived' is fine, since the living there happened up until the time of the marriage. 'Had been living' is my preference, because it emphasizes es the continuity of the living there.
I'm not a native speaker, but a teacher of the language. I wouldn't accept the version of the sentence with "lived". It can't have other meaning than that of the sentence with "had lived"(meaning that my father lived in that house before the marriage and then he moved to Chicago). I can not think of other possible meanings.

Hope to have helped you,

Eire.
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Hello Taka

I too find the simple past tense unidiomatic – 'since' seems to require a perfect tense (present, past, or future) in such contexts.

MrP
meaning that my father lived in that house before the marriage and then he moved to Chicago

Right. I agree. But if there was no such 'before-ness' in a sentence, do you think the past perfect would be still required when the sentence had '...since S+past' construction?

Example:
I am from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which is where I lived since I was 5 years old.

http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/s/d/sdj124/

Stevie's grammar isn't very good, Taka. As this sentence stands, it is conceptually incomplete. Either:

I am from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which is where I have lived since I was 5 years old.-- (he still maintains a residence in Gettysburg)

or

I am from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which is where I lived from the age 5 until last Tuesday.-- (he no longer lives there)
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Hmm...So 'since+S+past' has to be accompanied with either past perfect or present perfect. But what about a 'for+a certain amont of period' construction? If I 'm not mistaken, both 'I lived in the US for 5 years' and 'I have lived/been living in the US for 5 years' are fine, right?

Why is 'simple past+for+a certain amont of period' OK, whereas 'simple past+since+S+past' is not?
Why is 'simple past+for+a certain amont of period' OK, whereas 'simple past+since+S+past' is not?

I presume that it is because the latter presents only one end of the time span, leaving it open-ended at the near end. The default terminus is Now.

(Rats. Forgot to sign in AGAIN! I hate moderating my own posts-- I am so judgmental.)
Open-ended! Very interesting! So, in other words 'for+a certain amont of time' is a kind of closed end?
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