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What is the difference between

中学生になってもずっとボーッと生きてきたけど

中学生になってもずっとボーッと生きたけど

What does きた do in this sentence this is from the second episode of the anime K-On! the character is telling a story about her school life I don't see what きた does in the sentence.

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It adds the sense that the action/state of the preceding verb (生きる) has continued till now.

If you want to say you will continue living that way into the future, you can say ずっとボーッと生きていく.

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    is this the same きた as in くる or is it something else – k-on fan Apr 23 at 16:43
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    @k-onfan: It's the same きた as [来る]{くる} ("to come"). It's from the idea that the action "has come into the present moment". Likewise, the いく for "continuing into the future" is the same as [行く]{いく} ("to go"), from the idea that the action "will go further on from the present moment". – Eiríkr Útlendi Apr 23 at 17:54
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    @k-onfan: It’s the same, but it is usually written in hiragana in these compound forms. That’s also true for いく and other basic verbs that form compound verbs, such as みる (as in 食べてみる) and おく (as in 開けておく). – aguijonazo Apr 24 at 0:36

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