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  1. #21
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    I think that the operative words in that definition from the source given, are " not usually". What do you think, Ron?
    That is right.

    ~R

  2. #22
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Sorry, I think I didn't express myself properly. I know that we can use the simple present with state verbs but my question was about the use of the simple present in sentences with 'since clauses'. We normally should you a perfect tense with "since" and not a present in the main clause, so why in the examples hereunder is the present permitted?

    E.g. Why is "My mother looks younger since (= now that) she dyed her hair" possible and not "My mother has looked younger since she dyed her hair"?

    The same for:

    a) Since when do you have the right to tell me what to do?
    b) My kids think that the cell phone is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    c) She doesnít come to see us since she got married / her marriage.

    Is the simple present possible with "since" when we describe (a) a present fact or (b) a habitual present occurrence?

    Best regards





  3. #23
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    Smile Re: since + past tenses

    It isn't about what is and isn't permitted. It's about what is and isn't used.

    Is the simple present possible with "since" when we describe (a) a present fact or (b) a habitual present occurrence?
    That seems quite plausible as an explanation.

    Re:
    She doesnít come to see us since she got married.
    Prefer:
    She hasn't come to see us since she got married.
    ~R

  4. #24
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Sorry, I think I didn't express myself properly. I know that we can use the simple present with state verbs but my question was about the use of the simple present in sentences with 'since clauses'. We normally should you a perfect tense with "since" and not a present in the main clause, so why in the examples hereunder is the present permitted?

    E.g. Why is "My mother looks younger since (= now that) she dyed her hair" possible and not "My mother has looked younger since she dyed her hair"?

    The same for:

    a) Since when do you have the right to tell me what to do?
    b) My kids think that the cell phone is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    c) She doesnít come to see us since she got married / her marriage.

    Is the simple present possible with "since" when we describe (a) a present fact or (b) a habitual present occurrence?

    Best regards




    Refer to my last posting, Hela. In it I addressed at least some of the concerns that you've expressed in this posting. if you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

  5. #25
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Hello Riverkid,

    a) My mother looks younger since she dyed her hair.
    correct ?


    b) My mother has looked younger since she dyed her hair. Correct too ?

    With 'looks' the feeling is that 'looking younger' is an ongoing thing that roughly stays the same 24 hours a day.

    b1) My mother has acted younger since she dyed her hair.

    Here, when the verb changes to "acts", the action isn't so much a routine event; mother acts younger at times and acts like her old self at others. We'd likely even switch to the present perfect continuous to express this.

    If I understood you well, we have to use the simple present in the above sentence because we are describing a permanent state and not an action in progress (from past to present)?

    a) Since when (standard ?) do you have the right to tell me what to do?

    'since' means from some point in the past until now. It means,

    From what point in the past [until now - unspoken but assumed] do you think that you have acquired the right to tell me what to do?

    b) My kids think that the cell phone is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    Of all the great things that have come along/been invented over the years since sliced bread was invented [until now] my kids think the best thing is the cell phone
    But why should we use the present here "do you have the right" and "think that the cell phone is the greatest..."? Is it again because the verbs describe a present fact, situation and there is no idea of progress expressed?

    Kind regards





    Last edited by hela; 11-Dec-2006 at 07:49.

  6. #26
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    I think you may be on the right track. On the other hand, maybe you should just accept that that is the way those expressions are used.

    ~R

  7. #27
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Is the use of the present allowed with stative verbs? Why?
    Hi Hela
    .
    I think simple simple present tense (+ since + past tense) is sometimes preferable to the present perfect in the following situations:
    - when the sentence is very focused on the state now (i.e. now that something has happened there is a change). The new state is 24/7 and won't/can't end anytime soon
    OR
    - in combination with 'no longer' (i.e. a past habit/state has changed and there is now a new habit/state).
    .
    Further examples:
    - He weighs less since he started jogging. ('Has weighed' is not possible here.)
    - I no longer have massive problems understanding spoken English since attending that course.
    - She no longer visits twice a week since she got married. (Refers to a past habit and the fact that there is a new habit now.)
    .
    You probably won't run into (or need) this use of simple present tense + since too often, but it does happen. I don't think it is necessarily restricted to stative verbs, but the situation is probably most likely to occur with stative verbs. It seems to me that the idea of a 'change in state or habit' is important here.
    .
    Since when + present tense is often used when the question is a challenge or in a heated discussion.
    .
    "... is the best/greatest thing since sliced bread" is a commonly used expression.
    .
    Just my two cents. Hope it helps.
    Last edited by Philly; 11-Dec-2006 at 10:48. Reason: typo

  8. #28
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Goodmorning Philly,

    I hope I've got it now!
    One more thing, is this pattern only used in spoken English or is it also correct to use it in writing?

    Have a nice day.

  9. #29
    Philly is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Hi Hela
    .
    As others have also pointed out, there are some cases where the present perfect would simply be wrong and the simple present tense is correct. Therefore, the use of simple present tense would also be correct in formal/written English. The trick is to know when the simple present tense is needed; most of the time the present perfect would be the preferred tense. I have never run into any "prescriptive" grammar rules regarding this particular usage of the present tense + since. (Maybe that's because it's too hard to explain. )
    .
    Note the differences:
    - He weighs less since he started jogging. (Stative verb refers to a new state now)
    - He has lost a lot of weight since he started jogging. (A usual tense format; verb is not stative and losing weight may or may not be finished.)
    - He has been losing weight since he started jogging. (A usual tense format; verb is not stative and the weight loss is viewed as a continuing activity.)
    .
    These two sentences provide slightly different information:
    - She no longer visits since she got married. (New habit now. Since only tells you when the change in habit took place.)
    - She hasn't visited since she got married. (No indication of any previous habitual activity or a noticeable change in habit)
    .

  10. #30
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: since + past tenses

    Hi Philly,

    Since you're still on line would you please give me your comments about the following three sentences?

    1) I feel/am feeling much better since I moved house. (correct ?)
    2) I feel/am feeling much better now that I have moved. (is preferred to (1) ?)
    3) I have been feeling much better since I moved house.

    Do they all mean the same?

    Looking forward to your reply!
    Kind regards

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