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English Grammar Reference:
Present Perfect 6 - Stative verbs

The sixth time we use the present perfect simple is when we talk about how long something has been happening and we are using stative verbs.

Stative verbs have no continuous form and so we can't say "I have been liking Bob Dylan for 20 years" even though it is an action which started in the past and is continuing.
We have to use the present perfect simple because To like is a stative verb.

So we say I've liked Bob Dylan for 20 years.

There is the connection between the past and the present which we need when we use the present perfect:

  still listening to Bob Dylan  
|____________||||||||||||||||||||||||||______________________|
Past
started listening to Bob Dylan
Future
I've understood the television in English since last year.
  Still understand English tv  
|____________||||||||||||||||||||||||||______________________|
Past
finally understand English tv
Future

Examples

I've believed in God since I was born.
He's hated that coat since I bought it for him.
They've known each other for six months.
 

See also:

English Grammar Reference: List of Stative Verbs

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