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  1. #1
    cic Guest

    since two months ago

    Is it correct to say "he has lived in this flat since two months ago"?

  2. #2
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: since two months ago

    In the sense you're using it, the word since likes to be tied to a verb phrase. He has lived here since he graduated. I've been sad since you left.You can also used it with a noun of time. I've had this cold since Christmas. I've been ready since noon.

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    Re: since two months ago

    Additionally, use 'since' with specific dates & times (e.g., Monday, Yesterday, last week, 4:00, etc.), and use "for" with non-specific dates (e.g., three days, 6 months, years, hours, etc.).

    Examples:
    I haven't seen her since Friday. (specific date)
    I haven't seen him for weeks. (non-specific date)

    All the best,

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    Re: since two months ago

    I heard a sentence today and I didn't think it correct.

    "How long have you been studying English before?"

    "Before" feels uncomfertable there.

  5. #5
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    I heard a sentence today and I didn't think it correct.

    "How long have you been studying English before?"

    "Before" feels uncomfertable there.
    I agree. I wouldn't use "before" as a time adverb with the present perfect in that sentence, yet here it is at a site for an international school of English.

    Did someone whose first language is English say it?

    http://www.nzise.co.nz/enrol.html How long have you studied English before?

    I would say: How long have you been studying English? There's no need to use "before".

    How long had you been studying English before....... Before what

    How long were you studying English before...... Before what

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...lish+before%22+

    Here it is again, but in the third person. I've read a few. The writers certainly meant "since" not "before". Why they said "before", I don't know.

    The following sentence should be "had it been" or "was it", not "has it been". If the present perfect is used, then "since" should replace "before". Then the sentence would mean something else.

    Is there a lot of combustion noise when under a load?
    How long has it been before the pump was rebuilt or replaced?
    What percent grades are you climbing? , etc...

    http://www.ford-trucks.com/dcforum/diesel/611.html
    Last edited by Steven D; 27-May-2005 at 14:01.

  6. #6
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by cic
    Is it correct to say "he has lived in this flat since two months ago"?

    No, it's not correct.

    This is correct: He's lived in this flat for two months. or: He's been living in this flat for two months.

    Use "ago" with the past.

    He lived in that flat 2 months ago. He moved.
    ___________________________________

    Use "since" with the present perfect.

    He's been living there since March. He's still there.

    He's lived there since March. He's still there.
    ____________________

    Use "for" with the past or the present perfect.

    He's been living there for 2 months. He's still there.

    He's lived there for 2 months. He's still there.

    He had been living there for 2 months. He moved. He's not there now.

    He lived there for 2 months. He moved. He's not there now.

    He had lived there for 2 months. He moved. He's not there now.

  7. #7
    cic Guest

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by cic
    Is it correct to say "he has lived in this flat since two months ago"?
    I have read the comments with interest. The answers were fine on a simple level of the use of since and ago but...

    This has given us a great deal of mileage in class debate. Correct it must be if it is used by the University of Cambridge for a PET sentence transformation. The transformation is as follows:
    He started living in this flat two months ago.
    He has lived in this flat ........ two months ago.

    The answer is SINCE. Hence "He has lived in this flat since two months ago" .Given the fact that it is from a Cambridge exam one can suppose that it is correct! I repeat!! But it has caused quite a few headaches.

    Can anyone give me a plausible explanation for this use?
    Thanks.
    cic

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    Re: since two months ago

    Well, this particular topic is really generating a lot of debate. And to be quite honest with you I haven't seen anything in grammar saying that since and ago can't be used in the same sentence. It sounds a bit awkward but I hear that use very often. In fact, I am almost used to hearing it all the time. Of course, we tell everyone that since ties with "two years" and ago will take on "two years ago".
    X noticed that the same question can be easily changed to:
    He has lived in this flat for two months.
    Plain and simple.
    But what if the person wants to give the sentence an exact point in time ( since 2 months and not two months and 3 days, two months and 3 weeks, etc) and at the same time we know it happend in the past (ago) then how else can we go about it? How else would you paraphrase a sentence like that without spreading yourself too thin? Can you do it all in one sentence? To me it's a quick shortcut between Past Simple and Present Perfect Tense.
    Perhaps it's too much to cram into one sentence but grammatical or not, it's very common nowadays.
    Last edited by Marylin; 27-May-2005 at 04:53.

  9. #9
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    Re: since two months ago

    I think your asking the wrong question. The question is "why is it correct grammatically?" or "Is it natural?" I believe it to be grammatically correct but not natural.

    since is used here (present perfect) to define a specific starting point in the past and continues to the present. By adding the word ago you are defining the starting point (exactly 2 months ago,) therefore you can use since here (as Marylin stated.)

    for is used to express a block of time, but doesn't refer to a specific starting point.

    In most examples they can be used to express the same meaning.

    1. I've lived in this apartment for 2 months.
    2. I've lived in this apartment since 2 months ago.

    If it's May, we generally assume both sentences to mean that the person has resided in the apartment since March. However, sentence 1 could mean that I lived in the apartment for 1 month in January and have lived there for another month starting in April. However, this is unlikely. Here is a better example.

    I have studied Japanese for 3 years.
    I have studied Japanese since 1999.

    In this case I wouldn't use the second, because it implies I have studied Japanese for 6 years (starting and continuing to the present,) when in fact I began studying in 1999 and studied for two years. I stopped and began again a year ago.

    As far as my "unnatural rating" of your example, it's just the long road and we generally wouldn't say it that way. That's why to us/me it sounds unnatural or awkward.

    So, why is it correct? - because you defined the time in the past using ago.
    Is it natural? - I would have to say it's not natural
    Last edited by mesmark; 27-May-2005 at 09:38.

  10. #10
    Steven D's Avatar
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    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Marylin
    Well, this particular topic is really generating a lot of debate. And to be quite honest with you I haven't seen anything in grammar saying that since and ago can't be used in the same sentence. It sounds a bit awkward but I hear that use very often. In fact, I am almost used to hearing it all the time. Of course, we tell everyone that since ties with "two years" and ago will take on "two years ago".
    X noticed that the same question can be easily changed to:
    He has lived in this flat for two months.
    Plain and simple.
    But what if the person wants to give the sentence an exact point in time ( since 2 months and not two months and 3 days, two months and 3 weeks, etc) and at the same time we know it happend in the past (ago) then how else can we go about it? How else would you paraphrase a sentence like that without spreading yourself too thin? Can you do it all in one sentence? To me it's a quick shortcut between Past Simple and Present Perfect Tense.
    Perhaps it's too much to cram into one sentence but grammatical or not, it's very common nowadays.
    I hear what you're saying. But as you said, it sounds awkward. And to me it's too awkward. Although it is used, I wouldn't say it's in the mainstream of English language use. I would have to call it incorrect.

    Instead of saying "since two months ago", I would name the specific point in time that refers to "two months ago". For example, it's now May 26. He's been living here since March 26. Or I would say "he's been living here for two months".

    Here's a link to "since * * ago".

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22since+**+ago%22

    So it's out there -people use it - as you say, but I find it disagreeable. I don't suspect and I don't believe that many people use it. I wouldn't describe it as a "correct form".

    I would not advise anyone that "he's been living here since two months ago" is okay. It's not okay for me.

    I say "mainstream" and not "standard" because there are just a few grammatical forms which I and many others say are okay, but the "standardists" simply insist they are "wrong". Fortunately, there are very few of these "standardists". We have to be practical and really consider what we say and what can say when telling ESL students what they can say and cannot say.

    Well, this particular topic is really generating a lot of debate. And to be quite honest with you I haven't seen anything in grammar saying that since and ago can't be used in the same sentence.
    That's an interesting point. It calls to mind a question: Does grammar account for everything that may or may not be said?
    Last edited by Steven D; 29-May-2005 at 13:40.

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