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    #11

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    December 31 is the end of the year, and therefore the (default) limit of the range.
    That's irrelevant. Today is June 22nd, 2019. Something that happened on March 19th, 2019 happened later than October which, given this context, means October, 2018.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #12

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    There's no textual context that requires "October" to refer to October of last year.
    But you have mentioned something worth considering: given the right context, "since October" could refer to October of this year or that of last year.

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    #13

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    There's no textual context that requires "October" to refer to October of last year.
    There is no other October to which "October" could refer in "It has rained four times since October" if we take the time of speech to be now.

    If it were supposed to refer to an October prior to last October, there would be a further specification: "since October before last," "since October 1989."

    But you have mentioned something worth considering: given the right context, "since October" could refer to October of this year or that of last year.
    "Since"-phrases do not refer to the future. October 2019 is in the future. At this moment, "since October" can only refer to last October, i.e., to October 2018.

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    #14

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    In "It has been raining since February," is "since February" ambiguous between "since the start of February" and "since the end of February" as well? Could it describe a scenario where the rain began in March?
    Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon; 23-Jun-2019 at 06:52.

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    #15

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Could it describe a scenario where the rain began in March?
    No.

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    #16

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    There is no other October to which "October" could refer in "It has rained four times since October" if we take the time of speech to be now.

    If it were supposed to refer to an October prior to last October, there would be a further specification: "since October before last," "since October 1989."



    "Since"-phrases do not refer to the future. October 2019 is in the future. At this moment, "since October" can only refer to last October, i.e., to October 2018.
    Right, but the time of quoting is not necessarily the time of speech / writing.

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    #17

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    If you're not talking about a sentence you would like to say right now, you will need to make that clear in your post.

    As it stands, saying "It hasn't rained since October" means "There has been no rain since [some point in] October 2018".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #18

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    The Collins English Dictionary has the following example and definition:


    during or throughout the period of time after:


    Since May it has only rained once.


    Now I'm confused. There seems to be some difference between "it has rained four times since October" and "Since May it has only rained once" concerning how to determine when the rain first occurred. According to Collins, the rain had to first occur after May, which runs counter to what I have learned from this thread.
    Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon; 24-Jun-2019 at 12:41.

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    #19

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Right, but the time of quoting is not necessarily the time of speech / writing.
    That's irrelevant. What's the point of analysing a sentence from the perspective of the time of quoting? You analyse it from the moment of utterance.

    If I say last October, you have to interpret what this means to me, not what it means to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    Now I'm confused. There seems to be some difference between "it has rained four times since October" and "Since May it has only rained once" concerning how to determine when the rain first occurred.
    Let me make this clear: The word since sets only the beginning point of the timeframe within which the events happen. It does not tell you when the events happen. The first event could occur either at, or some time after, that beginning point of the timeframe.

    According to Collins, the rain had to first occur after May, which runs counter to what I have learned from this thread.
    What runs counter exactly? With the word after, the dictionary means exactly what I'm saying here—that the timeframe in question begins at that point.


    Look at this short dialogue:

    A: How many cigarettes have you smoked since the beginning of the year?
    B: Only one.

    In the above exchange, person A is presenting to person B a timeframe stretching from January 1 until now within which to set any possible smoking events. All we know from B's response is that there has been one smoking event in that period, and we don't know at what point it occurred.

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    #20

    Re: it has rained four times since October.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    That's irrelevant. What's the point of analysing a sentence from the perspective of the time of quoting? You analyse it from the moment of utterance.
    When "it has rained four times since October" was presented in the OP on 22-Jun-2019 at 16:38, it doesn't necessarily mean it was intended to be interpreted by reference to that time. A priori, it could have been uttered much earlier than that, as from some fictional work, but presented, or quoted, on 22-Jun-2019 at 16:38.


    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Let me make this clear: The word since sets only the beginning point of the timeframe within which the events happen. It does not tell you when the events happen. The first event could occur either at, or some time after, that beginning point of the timeframe.
    But consider "There have been many changes since the war." Someone told me the changes had to occur after the war.

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    What runs counter exactly? With the word after, the dictionary means exactly what I'm saying here—that the timeframe in question begins at that point.
    I'm afraid the dictionary has more than one time-related definition for since, and they don't specify the time frame in the same way. Merriam-Webster, for example, gives the following definition:

    in the time after (a specified time or event in the past): from (a point in the past) until the present time

    The first one is like Collins' "during or throughout the period of time after" and sets the beginning of the time frame after a time or event in the past. (One example would be "I haven't eaten since breakfast." )


    Now consider "It has only rained once since May." According to you, the time frame stretches from May 1 to the time at which the utterance was made. But if we plug Collins' definition "during or throughout the period of time after" into the example, it means it could not have rained during the month of May, but during or throughout the period of time after May. (N.B., Collins' example might not properly reflect the definition.)

    Consider another example: John has seen Mary since 10 o'clock. It is taken to mean John saw Mary after ten.

    Now compare that with "It has been raining since May." The rain is interpreted as first occurring during the month of May, not after it. Therefore the above definition doesn't work here.


    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Look at this short dialogue:

    A: How many cigarettes have you smoked since the beginning of the year?
    B: Only one.

    In the above exchange, person A is presenting to person B a timeframe stretching from January 1 until now within which to set any possible smoking events. All we know from B's response is that there has been one smoking event in that period, and we don't know at what point it occurred.
    Maybe the definition at work here is "from (a point in the past) until the present time." Which definition is relevant may have to do with the durative vs. punctual distinction of predicates.
    Last edited by raymondaliasapollyon; 25-Jun-2019 at 02:38.

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