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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default need help from native speakers

    Hi teachers,

    I'm confused about the difference and please help me with that:

    He's been unhappy since his girlfriend left him.

    He's been unhappy ever since his girlfriend left him.

    If I use 'ever since' instead of 'since', does it changing the meaning? If they mean the same, why is 'ever' added here? What's the purpose to add the word?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: need help from native speakers

    He's been unhappy since his girlfriend left him.
    since - something has been the case from a particular time in the past until now.

    He's been unhappy ever since his girlfriend left him.
    ever since - something has been the case all the time from then until now.

    M.

  3. #3
    Monticello's Avatar
    Monticello is offline Member
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    Default Re: need help from native speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hi teachers,

    I'm confused about the difference and please help me with that:

    He's been unhappy since his girlfriend left him.

    He's been unhappy ever since his girlfriend left him.

    If I use 'ever since' instead of 'since', does it changing the meaning? If they mean the same, why is 'ever' added here? What's the purpose to add the word?
    Thanks in advance.
    Please take a look at this link for the entry since, taken from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition). There, look carefully at the different meanings that the word since may have.


    When the word since here means from then until now or between then and now:
    He's been unhappy since his girlfriend left him.
    He's been unhappy ever since his girlfriend left him. (Here the word ever provides emphasis.)
    The word since may also mean because. When the word since means because:
    He's been unhappy since his girlfriend left him.
    Here the meaning is different. One could only know the difference (i.e., whether 'from then until now or between then and now' or because is intended) from the context that the speaker provides.

    And reversing the clauses won't help much either:
    Since his girlfriend left him, he's been unhappy.
    Here since could still mean either 'from then until now or between then and now' or because. Greater context is still needed to differentiate the two meanings:
    Now he's unhappy, since his girlfriend left him. (-Please note the comma.)
    Since his girlfriend left him, now he's unhappy. (-ditto)
    The addition of the word now makes everything clearer here. In both of the two previous sentences, since now means because.

    Hope this puts to rest your confusion. -Isn't English fun?
    Last edited by Monticello; 25-Mar-2009 at 20:58.

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