# Thread: I haven't been stressed out since...

1. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by zuotengdazuo
Please look at my diagram. I drew this according to what Mr. GPY(one member at EF) told me. So for the structure 'since + durative verbs(in simple past)', do you think B1 is not possible while only B2 and B3 are possible?
It seems to me that It's been fresher since it rained fits your A and B4 patterns:

X(Rain starts)..........Y(Rain stops; freshness starts)........(freshness continues)...........Now​ (freshness continues)

2. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by Piscean
It seems to me that It's been fresher since it rained fits your A and B4 patterns:

X(Rain starts)..........Y(Rain stops; freshness starts)........(freshness continues)...........Now​ (freshness continues)
Thank you. But do you misunderstand my diagram? I thought the sentence in question fits B2... A refers to rain while B refers to freshness.
X(Rain starts)....................Y(Rain stops)............................Now
|...............rain..................|
_______________________|.................freshness ..................

Beside, could you please analyze the other two sentences in the OP? And what time period applies to them each? And I really hope to know why one is natural and the other is not?

3. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by zuotengdazuo
Thank you, Mr. Tdol. I get you. So if a sentence using the structure 'since + simple past(durative verb)' is natural, it can't be ambiguous, right?
We don't search for ambiguity in language- we search for meaning. Head for the most obvious meaning. Searching for theoretical ambiguities is largely a waste of time. If something is 99% likely, then it is almost certainly what the person intended. We do make mistakes and say ambiguous things, but when these are interpreted as such, the listener can always ask for clarification. What do you honestly think a speaker means by since it rained? I don't see any natural interpretation that implies this refers to the beginning of the rain, but I am not willing to synthesise a rule from a single sentence that suggests this is true for 100% of sentences that have since +simple past. Look into meaning before grammar- that's what native speakers do. We try to understand people well before we try to formulate rules. Before you ask a question about grammar, ask a question about meaning, and avoid using a single sentence to extrapolate a rule for all usage.

4. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by zuotengdazuo
But do you misunderstand my diagram?
Apparently I did. Sorry. However, my version in post #11 and yours in post #12 seem to show the same thing.

Beside, could you please analyze the other two sentences in the OP?
Not now. One sentence a day is enough for me

5. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by Tdol
Look into meaning before grammar- that's what native speakers do.

We try to understand people well before we try to formulate rules.

Before you ask a question about grammar, ask a question about meaning, and avoid using a single sentence to extrapolate a rule for all usage.
UE doesn't provide a "double-like" button so I'm quoting and highlighting Tdol's Laws of Language above.

6. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by Tdol
We don't search for ambiguity in language- we search for meaning. Head for the most obvious meaning. Searching for theoretical ambiguities is largely a waste of time.
Thank you for your teaching. You taught me the right attitude towards how to understand a sentence if it's ambiguous. I am not looking for theoretical ambiguities. I am looking for naturalness as well as meaning. I want to produce natural sentence using durative verbs in simple past after "since". But I don't understand why sometimes they are natural, sometimes they are not, as are shown in the OP. I think they convey my intended meaning when they don't.

7. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by zuotengdazuo
I want to produce natural sentence using durative verbs in simple past after "since".
That's one of the main problems. You are trying to produce sentences that are in line with certain grammatical concepts that you have in mind. Native speakers try to produce sentences that convey the meaning the speakers wish to convey. (An aside - few native speakers have ever heard of 'durative verbs'.)

A serious problem for those of us who respond is that many of the sentences you come up with, such as It's been feeling fresher since it rained and I haven't been stressed out since I worked in that factory are not entirely natural. By that I mean that, while they are not necessarily impossible, most native speakers would choose different ways of expressing the thought.

That last sentence, for example, I haven't been stressed out since I worked in that factory, would probably be produced by a native speaker as either I haven't been stressed out since I started working in that factory or I haven't been stressed out since I stopped working in that factory. ​There is no ambiguity in those two versions, because the speaker has put into words the message they wish to convey.

8. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by Piscean
That last sentence, for example, I haven't been stressed out since I worked in that factory, would probably be produced by a native speaker as either I haven't been stressed out since I started working in that factory or I haven't been stressed out since I stopped working in that factory. ​There is no ambiguity in those two versions, because the speaker has put into words the message they wish to convey.
Thank you for your guidance. So you mean to try to convey the message I want to convey with the sentences in the OP, native speakers wouldn't say, for example, 'I haven't been stressed out since I worked in that factory'. It's more likely they say the two alternatives you suggest. Right?
Originally, I asked these questions because I read a grammar book by a Chinese professor, in which he says it's natural to use the structure in question. He argues that the structure 'since sb did(durative verbs)' can mean nothing but 'since sb stopped doing sth', while 'since sb has/have done' can mean nothing but 'Some situation described in main clause and that in since-clause are concurrent, and sb is still doing that thing now'. From the very beginning, I thought he might have been wrong. So I asked some native speakers about his sentences using these structures in book. And they said my professor is right and I should believe him and move on.
Thus I followed my professor's teaching and wrote some sentences using these structures. But it turned out that my sentences are all unnatural. Then I tried to use more words to come up with a context, in the hope that my sentences may fit in the context. But I was still told they are not natural. That's when I began delving into details to explore why my sentences are unnatural. I discussed this with many teachers at EF, but it didn't work out.
Do you think my professor is wrong?
Do you seldom hear native speakers use this structure in question?
Is there almost no context where they might use the structure?

Yours,
Zordon

9. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by zuotengdazuo
So you mean to try to convey the message I want to convey with the sentences in the OP, native speakers wouldn't say, for example, 'I haven't been stressed out since I worked in that factory'. It's more likely they say the two alternatives you suggest. Right?
That is what I said.

I read a grammar book by a Chinese professor, in which he says it's natural to use the structure in question. He argues that the structure 'since sb did(durative verbs)' can mean nothing but 'since sb stopped doing sth',
I don't find the 'nothing but' helpful.

The sentence I haven't eaten smoked chicken claws since I lived in China does indeed contain the message that I have not eaten smoked chicken claws since I stopped living in China. However, I can utter that sentence if I did not eat smoked chicken claws during my last three months in China. I suggested in post #7 that it was then end of the time period introduced by 'since' that was the normal reference point, but this is not an absolute 'nothing but' rule,

while 'since sb has/have done' can mean nothing but 'Some situation described in main clause and that in since-clause are concurrent, and sb is still doing that thing now'.
That seems OK, though I am always wary of statements about grammar that include such expressions as nothing but, always or never.
Do you seldom hear native speakers use this structure in question?
Is there almost no context where they might use the structure?
I'm afraid I'm no longer sure which structure you are talking about. If you mean the one in I haven't eaten smoked chicken claws since I lived in China, then I might well use it.

I still think you would do better to put into words a message you wish to convey rather than try to make up sentences using a particular structure.

10. ## Re: I haven't been stressed out since...

Originally Posted by Piscean
I'm afraid I'm no longer sure which structure you are talking about. If you mean the one in I haven't eaten smoked chicken claws since I lived in China, then I might well use it.

I still think you would do better to put into words a message you wish to convey rather than try to make up sentences using a particular structure.
Mr. Piscean,
1. I check that grammar book again and find it says 'usually' not 'nothing but'. My mistake.
2. I am very surprised to hear you say 'since sb has/have done' is ok. Many native speakers told me there is some wrong with this structure and they would avoid using it because it is even more ambiguous than 'since sb did(durative verbs)'.
But this structure is not a topic we are supposed to talk about in this thread.
3. So native speakers do use this structure 'since sb did(durative verbs)' occasionally. But I'd like to know when native speakers might use this structure to put into a message they wish to convey?
4. I was told when using the structure 'since sb did(durative verbs)', you'd better use a follow-up phrase to clarify it a little. So I am not sure what you mean by 'I haven't eaten smoked chicken claws since I lived in China'. Maybe you want to say 'I haven't eaten smoked chicken claws since I left China?
5. I am wondering if I don't make up sentences using a particular structure first, how can I put into words a message I wish to convey in English? I am no native speaker so I can't naturally express whatever I wish to convey.

Zordon

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