Answering the Question “How long have you…” – English Lesson for Germans

Answering: "How long have you...?"

In this online English lesson, I will show you the correct way to answer questions like "How long have you lived here?," "How long have you been travelling?," and "How long have you worked here?" There are two typical mistakes you should avoid!

First, watch this video. Then read the summary and take a look at the examples.


A lot of questions in English start with "How long have you..."

When answering these questions, there a few important things to remember:

  • use the present perfect (I have lived/I have worked/etc.) or present perfect continuous tense (I have been living/I have been working/etc) - in English, this is seen as a question about the past, so we can't use the simple present tense
  • you can use the contraction "I've" instead of "I have" if you would like
  • use the preposition "for" when talking about the length of time
  • use the preposition "since" when talking about the point in time you started


"How long have you lived in Berlin?"
I've lived here for 5 years.

"How long have you been travelling?"
I have been travelling for 5 months, but I've only been in Thailand since Monday.

"How long have you been single?"
I've been single for 3 months.

"How long have you been waiting for me?"
Not long. I've been waiting for only 5 minutes.

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