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  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #1

    It's (been) two years since I last saw Joe.

    I just came across two interesting sentences in English Grammar in Use:

    #1. It's two years since I last saw Joe.
    #2. It's been two years since I last saw Joe.

    According to Raymond Murphy, both mean the same (and both are correct).

    However, #1 sounds unusual to me.

    1. Could it be that #1 is less formal than #2 (and/or less common)?
    2. Could it be that #1 is more common in BrE than in AmE? (English Grammar in Use is written for BrE. There is also a version of the book written for students of AmE, but unfortunately, I don't own it.)

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 16-Sep-2012 at 17:47.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It's (been) two years since I last saw Joe.

    For me, they are both correct, they mean the same thing and I see no difference in formality. For a (slightly more) formal version, I would start them with "It is/It has been", not the contractions.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. anhnha's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It's (been) two years since I last saw Joe.

    What is the reason for using the present simple tense in this sentence?
    It's two years since I last saw Joe.
    Is it because the statement is always true?

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: It's (been) two years since I last saw Joe.

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    What is the reason for using the present simple tense in this sentence?
    It's two years since I last saw Joe.
    Is it because the statement is always true?
    It's not always true. If it is now two years since I last saw Joe and I don't see him for another year, then the statement "It's three years since I last saw Joe" will be true. However, at the time of speaking, it is absolutely presently true.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. anhnha's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: It's (been) two years since I last saw Joe.

    Thank emsr2d2!
    If so, can I use the present simple tense for everything that is absolutely presently true?

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: It's (been) two years since I last saw Joe.

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    Thank emsr2d2!
    If so, can I use the present simple tense for everything that is absolutely presently true?
    I am always loth to say that you can "always" do something or use any particular construction for "everything" as there are plenty of exceptions to every rule.

    In fact, here's one: "The sun is shining" is presently true (OK, that's a lie, it's really cloudy where I am at the moment but never mind!). However, we don't say "The sun shines" in that context, we only use the present continuous.

    So I will say no to your question.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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