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    #1

    teaching "since" and "until"

    Can anyone offer me a suggestion of how to teach the prepositions "since",
    "until", "for", and "by" to my Korean (adult) student? She is really struggling with the differences, and I have run out of ideas!


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    #2

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Try using examples in a context which might be familiar to your pupil:

    Since normally says that something HAS NOT happened in a time span which is measured from a certain date. That is, it describes something that happened in the past. eg. There has not been a famine in the Country SINCE 1980.

    Until normally says that nothing WILL happen before a pre-set time, or an pre-set event occurs, in the future. eg. The government will not start supplying free food UNTIL everyone is starving.

    For is more difficult because it has many meanings, but in the context of the other two words 'since' and 'until', it means something happened 'during' a time span, eg. the famine lasted FOR 2 months.


    By is also more difficult because it has many meanings, but in the context of the other three words, it describes the latest time when something is DUE to happen. eg. the government said it will start giving out free food BY the 31st of March.

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    #3

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Why do you say since is for things that have not normally happened in the time span? It could equally be positive or negative:
    I have lived here since 2002.


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    #4

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Quote Originally Posted by tchr26pls View Post
    Can anyone offer me a suggestion of how to teach the prepositions "since",
    "until", "for", and "by" to my Korean (adult) student? She is really struggling with the differences, and I have run out of ideas!
    a)'By' can be used to introduce the mode of travel as below:

    e.g:I would like to travel by train.
    b)to indicate some quantity of things
    e.g: I have apples by the dozen
    c)to mean 'near'
    I realx by the pool.


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    #5

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    I gave just one example of using since in the context of differentiating it from until. It was not intended to be the Universally Accepted Dictionary definition (as opposed to the OED).

    However, I explicitly did NOT say that since was for used for 'things that have not normally happened' in a time-span. I said since 'normally says that' 'something has not happened'. The normally refers to says, NOT to not happened. Tdol has chosen to reword my reply and move the word normally in my comment to apply it to a different verb!

    Since is still a reference to something (or some event) in the past, which HAS NOT CHANGED at the time of writing (or speaking) - it can't change!....it has already happened! (oh! if only we could change the past....).

    The event, or ongoing activity, which happened since something is the time-span I refer to. Since defines the time-stamp at the START of the time-span. Until defines the time-stamp at the END of a time-span - this may or may not happen in the future, one cannot predict the future, thus one cannot predict the duration of an on-going time-span.

    To reword Tdol's comment, it could be written as 'I have not moved house since 2002'. The event is: 'not moved house', the time-stamp (in the past) is: 2002 (presumably the end of 2002).

    One might claim that until did not necessarily HAVE to refer to something in the future: eg. Stan stayed at home until Kyle phoned him to ask him to come over to play. (everything is in the past).

    I refer you to Einstein's relativity theory for an explanation of this: until refers to the time-stamp event in the future RELATIVE to the on-going time-span 'stayed at home'. All time measurements are relative to the observer, or relative to some other standard agreed by the observers who are participating in the measurements.
    Last edited by pedant; 02-Apr-2007 at 03:07.

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    #6

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Quote Originally Posted by pedant View Post
    However, I explicitly did NOT say that since was for used for 'things that have not normally happened' in a time-span. I said since 'normally says that' 'something has not happened'. The normally refers to says, NOT to not happened. Tdol has chosen to reword my reply and move the word normally in my comment to apply it to a different verb!
    Could explain the difference between 'normally says something that has not happened' and my saying 'for things that have not normally happened'. There does seem to be a big difference to me, especially as you wrote 'NOT HAPPENED' in upper case to emphasise it.



    Quote Originally Posted by pedant View Post
    To reword Tdol's comment, it could be written as 'I have not moved house since 2002'. The event is: 'not moved house', the time-stamp (in the past) is: 2002 (presumably the end of 2002).


    Why is the event not moving house instead of living in the house? And how would you reword this?
    I have spoken to him since we last met.
    Is the event not not speaking to him?


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    #7

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Here is a simple way to teach the difference between since and for.
    When you use the word since you mean from a PARTICULAR POINT IN TIME .
    Eg: I have not eaten since morning.
    I have been watching TV since 8 o'clock.
    She has been under my care since last July.
    I have not seen her since New years Day .

    When you use the word 'for' , (in this context )it generally specifies A PERIOD OF TIME .

    Eg:I have been working for four hours.
    She has been on the phone for two hours .
    She has been teaching here for five years .


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    #8

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Quote Originally Posted by girija View Post
    Here is a simple way to teach the difference between since and for.
    When you use the word since you mean from a PARTICULAR POINT IN TIME .
    Eg: I have not eaten since morning.
    I have been watching TV since 8 o'clock.
    She has been under my care since last July.
    I have not seen her since New years Day .

    When you use the word 'for' , (in this context )it generally specifies A PERIOD OF TIME .

    Eg:I have been working for four hours.
    She has been on the phone for two hours .
    She has been teaching here for five years .
    Is it correct to say:
    I have seen you for the first time since morning.


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    #9

    Re: teaching "since" and "until"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Why is the event not moving house instead of living in the house? And how would you reword this?
    I have spoken to him since we last met.
    Is the event not not speaking to him?
    OK, you make my point here quite well, whether something happened or didn't happen is irrelevant: when using since, the event (ie. whatever it is you are now talking about) is in the future relative to the time-stamp, that future might be in your past, it might be present, it might be in the future. However, the time-stamp since is always in the past.

    I have spoken to him since he resigned is in the past, I am currently speaking to him since he insisted that I talk to him immediately is in the present, I will be speaking to him since his performance was clearly not acceptable is in the future, I have not talked, nor will I ever talk, to him since he resigned is ongoing (past, present, and future), but all the above cases are still in the future relative to since.

    Since is thus always a reference to some time-stamp in the past, not now, not in the future. Whether you did something, have done something, now do something, or will do something as a consequence of the time-stamp defined by since doesn't matter.....since will always remain a time-stamp in the past.


    As for the placement of normally in my original reply, I can't believe that one can't recognise that there are two verbs in the sentence:the first being the one intended. Normally says.....implies that this is what is normally said by someone (however it does not imply that what they say is normal). Normally happened.... would imply that it was said that what happened was normal.

    eg: It normally can be said that something occurs (but sometimes it can be said that something else occurs), or it can be said that normally something occurs (or sometimes not). The placement of normally is very important.

    Take the following two statements, the position of normally and the verb to which it applies is vital to the context:

    The road sign "Bridge Works Below" normally says that the Bridge doesn't work properly and is currenly being repaired from beneath the roadway. Only in very exceptional circumstances, perhaps when written by someone with an odd sense of humour, might it mean that the bridge actually works today, when normally it might not!. In this instance, there could be more than one interpretation of the sign.

    The road sign "Bridge Works Below" says that the Bridge normally works properly but doesn't at the current time so it is being repaired by people working below the roadway. In this instance, there is only one interpretation of the sign.

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