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  1. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #31

    Re: since two months ago

    They seem to be split on the issue too.

  2. Steven D's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 834
    #32

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    They seem to be split on the issue too.

    Yes, and a couple of the posters have explained it very well. They took the words right off my keyboard.



    • Join Date: Apr 2004
    • Posts: 1,814
    #33

    Re: since two months ago

    Hi, all

    Sabine: Have you learned cooking before?
    Fleur :Yes, I've learned it before.
    Is that fine?

  3. Steven D's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 834
    #34

    Re: since two months ago

    Hi, all
    Quote:

    Sabine: Have you learned cooking before?
    Fleur :Yes, I've learned it before.


    Is that fine?
    Yes, if "before" means "before now", it's fine.

    I would say "learned how to cook" instead of "learned cooking".

    Have you ever learned how to cook before?

    Have you ever learned how to cook?

    Have you ever done that before?

  4. Steven D's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 834
    #35

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode

    "Since" refers to the exact date or time that the period started, so you could say "Ive lived here since 1995, or Ive lived here since10 years ago" without any meaning change.

    Oh, come on. Just say "since 1995". Is it really necessary to ever have to say something like "since ten years ago"? Is it?

    If ten years ago is 1995, then just say "since 1995". So that's 10 years. You've lived here for ten years? Yes, that's right. I've lived here since 1995.

    What is the point of Cambridge's sentence transformation? Why should there be an exercise to tranform a sentence in such a manner? What is really gained from it when so many seem to agree that it's not advisable to use and that it sounds awkward? It's technically correct.


    Last edited by Steven D; 30-May-2005 at 23:33.

  5. Steven D's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 834
    #36

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    It is correct. Mind you, it's a transformation.

    He started living in this flat two months ago.
    Question: Since when did you start living in this flat?
    Answer: Since two months ago.

    => 'two months ago' functions as an adverbial phrase. 'since' tells us it's connected in time to 'started living'.

    We are looking at the architecture of the langauge, its mathematical code. Without the connection, though, the "context" 'started living', the sentence 'He started living in this flat *since two months ago', on it's own like that, is indeed semantically awkward. "for" is required in that enviornment, unless, that is, there is additional context to work from, which there was in this case, but was omitted.

    Context is important.
    Can we presume that in the context the speaker and the listener know what "two months ago" refers to? I would say so. In that case, I would simply recommend to anyone learning English that they use the name of a month or a specific time instead of "since + length of time + ago".

    I think we can presume that in any context the speaker and the listener would know specifically what "since + length of time + ago" refers to.

    Why should an exam go to the trouble to show how the architecture of the language works if the result is going to be a type of sentence that is hardly ever used and sounds very awkward?

    It's technically correct, and I understand why it is. I also understand that "they" in one of my sentences above would be considered technically wrong.


    Last edited by Steven D; 30-May-2005 at 22:03.

  6. Steven D's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 834
    #37

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Marylin
    Of course, I understand. But with the exception of my post, has anyone said "It is wrong. Don't say it. Don't write."? This is "ask a teacher" at an ESL/EFL forum.

    Exactly. This indeed was "Ask a teacher" question at ESL forum, X. Nothing to do with you X. I was just thinking out loud.
    I agree with Mesmerk, I would stay away from using it but technically it does make some sense.

    Okay, it makes sense technically.

  7. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #38

    Re: since two months ago

    Try something less presumptuous, like,

    Have you learned to cook before?
    Yes, I have. / No, I haven't

    Note, -ing expresses a realized event. Using "cooking", even as a gerund, expresses a presupposition: it has been learned before, so why ask?

    Do you know how to cook?
    Yes, I do. / No, I don't.

  8. Steven D's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 834
    #39

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Try something less presumptuous, like,

    Have you learned to cook before?
    Yes, I have. / No, I haven't

    Note, -ing expresses a realized event. Using "cooking", even as a gerund, expresses a presupposition: it has been learned before, so why ask?

    Do you know how to cook?
    Yes, I do. / No, I don't.
    Hi,

    I don't quite get what you mean by "ing" expresses a realized event.

    Is this a realized event: Have you ever gone bowling?

    Also, are you saying that "Have you learned cooking?" is something that sounds usual to you? How can we assume the listener has learned it before just because a gerund is used? Apart from that, "have you learned cooking" doesn't sound usual to me. I just know "how to cook" is usual and what people say. "have you learned cooking" ?

    "Have you ever learned how to cook?" "Have you learned how to cook?"

    Do you know how to cook?

    or: Have you taken cooking lessons? Have you ever taken cooking lessons?

    Those sound usual to me. Do you mean such questions might not sound polite?

    Using "ever" sounds presumptuous to you in those sentences?

    What do you think of, "Haven't you ever learned how to cook?"

  9. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #40

    Re: since two months ago

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    What is the point of Cambridge's sentence transformation? Why should there be an exercise to tranform a sentence in such a manner? What is really gained from it when so many seem to agree that it's not advisable to use and that it sounds awkward? It's technically correct.
    He has lived there since when?
    => exact date/time questioned

    Since two months ago.
    => exact date/time mentioned is given and expounded on using "ago" to make it more exact.

    Consider:

    Pat: He's lived there for two months. (non-exact date/time)
    Max:Sorry? Since when, did you say? (exact date/time questioned)
    Pat: Since two months ago. (exact date/time previously mentioned)

    'two months ago' isn't what we would consider an exact date/time, but given the context, the pragmatics, it's as exact as it's going to get for that particular context. It's exactly what Pat said.

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