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  1. enydia's Avatar

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    #1

    questions about 'since'

    Hi, everyone.

    I have some questions about time-clause introduced by since.

    1
    Please see the following sentence:
    It's three years since he was ill.
    Someone (in fact, some teachers) told me that this sentence means that three years has passed since he recovered.
    This really confused me. In my opinion, without context, this sentence is something odd. It means that three years has passed since sometime during the time he was ill, and the exact time point when the 'three years' began is unknow. Which of these two views is correct?

    2
    What is the meaning of ever since? Is it the same as since? Take the following sentence for example:
    We've been friends ever since we were at school together.
    What is the exact meaning of this sentence? Can I omit the word ever?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #2

    Smile Re: questions about 'since'

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Hi, everyone.

    I have some questions about time-clause introduced by since.

    1
    Please see the following sentence:
    It's three years since he was ill.
    Someone (in fact, some teachers) told me that this sentence means that three years has passed since he recovered.
    This really confused me. In my opinion, without context, this sentence is something odd. It means that three years has passed since sometime during the time he was ill, and the exact time point when the 'three years' began is unknow. Which of these two views is correct? Saying It's (been) three years since he was ill means He hasn't been ill for three years or The last time he was ill was three years ago, which implies that three years ago he was ill, but recovered, of course.

    2
    What is the meaning of ever since? Is it the same as since? Take the following sentence for example:
    We've been friends ever since we were at school together.
    What is the exact meaning of this sentence? Can I omit the word ever?
    Yes, you can. It's just stronger than since alone.
    Thanks in advance.


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    #3

    Re: questions about 'since'

    It's three years since he was ill.

    You have to imagine some definite moment at which this person changed from 'ill' to 'not ill, all better". A person can be ill, then recover/convalesce for a time, then resume school/work; so we might say that the day he returned to his normal life was the moment he was no longer 'ill'. As you can see, this is not precise, but the sentence means, 3 years have elapsed since he was regarded as ill, or was still affected by illness, and so, regarded as 'better'.

  3. enydia's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: questions about 'since'

    Thank engee30 and David L.

    However, I am still uncertain of concerned grammar rules and need some favours.

    Please see the following two sentences:
    1. We've been friends ever since we were at school together.
    2. When I met him last week, it was the first time we had seen each other since we were at school.

    As you see, their clauses introduced by since are similar. Somebody told me that both of the clauses mean from the time when we graduated from school till a later time. But I think the time-clause of the first sentence mean from one day (unknown to the readers) during our school life when we met each other and made friends till a later time (now). So, the two similar clauses have different meaning. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Smile Re: questions about 'since'

    Quote Originally Posted by enydia View Post
    Thank engee30 and David L.

    However, I am still uncertain of concerned grammar rules and need some favours.

    Please see the following two sentences:
    1. We've been friends ever since we were at school together. We are no longer at school, but we're still friends; We've been friends ever since we've been at school - you are still at school
    2. When I met him last week, it was the first time we had seen each other since we were at school. You hadn't seen that person since the moment you left school, or since the time when you were at school; at the time of saying so you were no longer at school together

    As you see, their clauses introduced by since are similar. Somebody told me that both of the clauses mean from the time when we graduated from school till a later time. But I think the time-clause of the first sentence mean from one day (unknown to the readers) during our school life when we met each other and made friends till a later time (now). So, the two similar clauses have different meaning. Am I right?

    Thanks in advance.


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    #6

    Re: questions about 'since'

    1. We've been friends ever since we were at school together.
    This means that you met at school, became friends, and have stayed friends over all the years right up to this moment in time, to right now.
    2. When I met him last week, it was the first time we had seen each other since we were at school.

    You were both at school together. Perhaps both of you graduated and left at the same time. Perhaps you moved to another town and so left before you graduated from that school. But from the moment when you both left the same school, or from the moment when he/you moved away to another town, you had not seen each other till last week.

  5. enydia's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: questions about 'since'

    Thank engee30 and David L.

    I have another question.
    I am really confused by the following statement in a grammar book writen by a Chinese:
    It's four years since he has lived in Shanghai. = He hasn't lived in Shanghai for four years. (Hu, 50 Problems of English Grammar 407)
    In my opinion, 'it's four years since he has lived in Shanghai' implies that he began his life in Shanghai 4 years ago and now he is still living in Shanghai. Can some native speakers give me some advice?

    Thanks in advance.


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    #8

    Re: questions about 'since'

    This year is 2008. We know from the sentence that in 2004, he moved from Shanghai to live somewhere else and has not been back to Shanghai to live there between 2004 and 2008.
    Prior to 2004: we do not know how many years he lived in Shanghai before he left in 2004. We do not know if he was born there and lived all his life there before the move; or had lived in many cities before moving to shanghai and living there for some period of time prior to 2004.
    the meaning of 'since' in the sentence is "in the intervening period between (the time mentioned- i.e. 2004) and the time under consideration, typically the present i.e.2008).

    What meaning do you think 'since' has in the sentence?
    Last edited by David L.; 04-May-2008 at 06:19.

  6. enydia's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: questions about 'since'

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    This year is 2008. We know from the sentence that in 2004, he moved from Shanghai to live somewhere else and has not been back to Shanghai to live there between 2004 and 2008.
    Prior to 2004: we do not know how many years he lived in Shanghai before he left in 2004. We do not know if he was born there and lived all his life there before the move; or had lived in many cities before moving to shanghai and living there for some period of time prior to 2004.
    the meaning of 'since' in the sentence is "in the intervening period between (the time mentioned- i.e. 2004) and the time under consideration, typically the present i.e.2008).

    What meaning do you think 'since' has in the sentence?
    Thank you very much for your reply and patience.

    Sorry to bother you again.
    Please see a sentence I invent as follows:
    They have been good friends since he has lived in Shanghai. (In fact, I feel this sentence is something odd)
    According to your view, does this sentence imply he is living somewhere else now, and they have been friends friends from the time he left Shanghai till now?

    Thanks in advance.


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    #10

    Re: questions about 'since'

    They have been good friends since he has lived in Shanghai.
    (In fact, I feel this sentence is something odd.)

    'since' means, from some point in the past, right up to now.

    'He has lived" refers to a time span, a period of time, from some moment in the past , till now.

    So, you cannot follow 'since' with the present perfect tense - this tense refers to a period of time, and 'since' requires a definite moment in the past to start counting forward from. It would be like saying , they have been friends from the moment they met , and this definite moment was any day during all the years he has lived in Shanghai so far!??! It is odd!!
    Last edited by David L.; 04-May-2008 at 11:09.

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