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Hi teachers,
I don't understand why the past continuous is used with 'until now 'in the paragraph below:

Inner Sanctum: Now you're a rich man thanks to your paintings. Why don't you live in a magnificent house, or a palace with luxurious furniture, instead of resigning yourself to living in an apartment where you have so little space you have to put your easel at the head of your bed?

-I'm often asked that question but can never give a clear answer. I did have a villa once, but that has been sold. I also own a piece of land where I asked an architect to design a house, but it has never been built.

That is why, until now, I was still living in an apartment I inherited from my parents. I am well-to-do, but I don't know why I can't live like I am! Perhaps it's my destiny!
I would appreciate it very much if you could explain why the past continuous ,not the present perfect continuos ,is used here.

Best wishes
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Now, in the present, I am no longer living in the appartment. I believe the present perfect continuous would leave open the possibility that at this very moment you are still living in the appartment.
Thank you Avangi,
But in this context ,until now means 'up to the present time' ,so I think the respondent is still living in the apartment .Iam very confused about it.Please explain.

Best wishes
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Hi Tuongvan, I believe I see how you're looking at it.

When I hear, "until now," I take it as a signal of change. "Now" is a point in time, or perhaps a block in time, the begining of which saw some clear change.

It doesn't have to be negative. "I never understood why she hated me until just now." (Damn, I suppose that's ambiguous too. I don't mean she hated me until just now. I mean I never understood until just now.)

It definitely does not mean, "up to and including now."

- A.

Edit. I guess I've heard it your way. Where were you? I've been looking everywhere for you! (reply) I've been right here up until the present time. (It doesn't mean "now I'm gone.")

Perhaps someone else can provide a fresh look at this, or a traditional one which I'm not aware of. I do see your point.
To me, "until now, I was still living..." is just poor English.

If it's supposed to mean that he moved somewhere else very recently, then "until now, I have been living..." or "until now, I was living..." are both possibilities, but I don't much like either. Although "now" can be vaguer than "this instant", it still seems too abrupt and unlikely a time to suddenly stop living in one place and begin living in another. I would choose another form of words, such as "until recently/very recently/yesterday/last week, I was living...". (Edit: Or "until recently/etc. ... I was still living", if the intention of "still" is to suggest that he continued to live in the inherited apartment beyond the time he might have been expected to have left it.)

To indicate that I was still living in the apartment, I would simply say "I am still living...".
Hi teachers,
Suppose we are talking about Mr .White who is a long time government high-ranking official .He is very good man .He never uses his power for his personal gain .He is living in a small rickety house now.

Should I say like (a) or (b) or (c) below:?

a/ Mr White is a very incorruptible official .That's why he is still living in a small rickety house now.
b/ Mr White is a very incorruptible official that is why ,until now ,he was still living in a small rickety house .
c/Mr White is a very incorruptible official that is why ,until now ,he has still been living in a small rickety house.

Thank you in advance
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My recommendation would be a/. To me, the other two make no sense. In my opinion, they're cases where "until now" marks a change in status.

If you wish to stress both the continued and the continuing, you could say, "That's why (even now / to this day) he is still living in a small etc." But that sounds redundant, doesn't it?

- A.
Thank you Avangi very much
I'm really sorry not to be able to pin this down. I definitely feel it's unresolved. Don't give up. Someone may yet explain it to the satisfaction of both of us.

BTW, plz excuse the French spelling. I tried to correct it but was too late.
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