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    #1

    A debate about time span

    Hello. My fiancee and I have been debating this issue for quite some time, and I would really like to get some clarification on who is correct, because she feels like it's a matter of opinion, while I'm in the camp that believes it is a structure to language that cannot have an opinion.

    The time spans in question are "ago","since", and perhaps "for". I'll use the subject of pizza as the topic because it's been an actual topic of our debate, as well as my favorite food, for a long time. We'll also assume that today is Monday.


    • "We had pizza three days ago."
      • We both agree that this statement means "We had pizza on Friday."



    • "It has been three days since we last ate pizza."
      • This, for some reason, we disagree on. I think this is the same as the above statement: "The last time we had pizza was Friday." She feels like this means there were 3 days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) in between today and the last time we had pizza, so for her, this means "The last time we had pizza was Thursday."



    • "We haven't had pizza for three days."
      • I'm not entirely clear on this one, but I would most likely use this in the same manner as above, indicating the last time we ate pizza was on Friday.


    Who is wrong here? Are either of us wrong, or is this really something that's subject to an opinion? I'm having a lot of trouble thinking that any of the three have a different meaning.

    Thanks. :)
    Last edited by stringpoet; 11-Nov-2014 at 19:57.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A debate about time span

    "We had pizza three days ago."

    • We both agree that this statement means "The last time we had pizza was Friday."


    Strictly speaking this just means what it says, you had pizza three days ago. It says nothing about whether you have had pizza since then or not. It doesn't mean that Friday was the last time.

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    #3

    Re: A debate about time span

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "We had pizza three days ago."

    • We both agree that this statement means "The last time we had pizza was Friday."


    Strictly speaking this just means what it says, you had pizza three days ago. It says nothing about whether you have had pizza since then or not. It doesn't mean that Friday was the last time.
    Agreed. I guess I could have left that out, or perhaps modified it (which I will do now). It should be "We haven't had pizza since 3 days ago", but I feel like that's grammatically incorrect due to "since" and "ago" being in the same sentence.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A debate about time span

    Why don't you just say "We haven't had pizza since Friday" or "We haven't had pizza for three days"?

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    #5

    Re: A debate about time span

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Why don't you just say "We haven't had pizza since Friday" or "We haven't had pizza for three days"?
    Well, the question in the original post would be invalid if I said it that way. The problem arises when the second two sentences are said, and are usually said that way to put emphasis on the amount of days.

    You may have inadvertently answered part of the question, though. Do you agree that all three sentences indicate that Friday was the last time we had pizza? Also, are you a teacher?

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    #6

    Re: A debate about time span

    Not a teacher

    To me all three sentences have the same or at least similar meaning. All three messages deliver the idea that the last day you have eaten pizza is Friday. I don't find We haven't had pizza since 3 days ago. correct because since and ago exclude each other in general cases.

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    #7

    Re: A debate about time span

    Quote Originally Posted by V.Predoev View Post
    I don't find We haven't had pizza since 3 days ago. correct because since and ago exclude each other in general cases.
    That was really bugging me. I changed it once more back to what it was and simply modified the meaning to "We had pizza on Friday."

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    #8

    Re: A debate about time span

    Not a teacher

    Grammatically speaking I am conveying these two examples:

    We haven't had pizza since Friday. (Present perfect)
    We had pizza three days ago. (Past simple)

    And again it's the first one that emphasizes on the act while the second one favours the time period.

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    #9

    Re: A debate about time span

    I think they all convey the same basic meaning.

    You guys need to start planning the wedding if this is all you have to argue about!

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