Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #1

    sentence

    It's two years since he was ill.
    It's two years since he has been ill.

    They have been close since he was ill.
    They have been close since he has been ill.

    I can't get the meaning of the sentences. Please help me.
    Last edited by puzzle; 28-Mar-2009 at 14:24.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #2

    Re: sentence

    OK. Let's take it sentence by sentence.
    It's two years since he was ill.

    'was' is Simple Past tense. What does this sentence mean to you?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #3

    Re: sentence

    It's two years since he was ill.
    He was ill two years ago. He has been well for two years.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #4

    Re: sentence

    Yes. Perfect!

    Now for:
    It's two years since he has been ill.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #5

    Re: sentence

    According to your last post. it means:

    He hasn't been ill for two years, he has been well for two years.

    But, the two sentences mean the same?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: sentence

    You've understood that in both tense forms, Simple Past and Present Perfect, the 'illness' event happened two years ago, and he has been well since. In that why they seem the same.

    So - why would a speaker shift/change and use the Present Perfect tense form?

    Because the fact that he was ill two years ago is not/has no longer become some remote, distant event that has nothing to do with the present, the NOW as he speaks. Something has happened. Yes, he was ill two years ago, and yes, he has been well for the last two years...but what is going on NOW, what has happened to change the speaker's view of the whole situation?

    Let's add more to the possible conversation:
    "It's two years since he has been ill. And then yesterday, he complained he was feeling too tired to get out of bed, and when I went in this morning he was writhing in pain and I called for an ambulance. I think he has had a relapse, doctor."

    The speaker is now relating the episode of illness two years ago to what is happening now - it is no longer some distant event that happened two years ago. This seems like a return of the illness - the illness two years ago is suddenly very relevant to what is happening to this other (sick) person NOW.

    How are we going with your understanding of this so far?
    Last edited by David L.; 28-Mar-2009 at 16:21.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #7

    Re: sentence

    I think I might get it now.

    They have been close since he was ill.
    Means they become closed after he got well from his illness.

    They have been close since he has been ill.
    Means they are closed since he is ill, he still is ill now.

    Right?


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #8

    Re: sentence

    No. You've gone too quickly.
    What is the difference between:
    They were close after his illness.
    and
    They have been close since he was ill.

    Let's add a bit more to each sentence:
    "They were close after he was ill. I wonder what ever happened to them."
    and
    "They have been close since he has been ill. They've now decided to marry, and want me to be best man."

    I'll take a break now and come back to it later.
    Last edited by David L.; 28-Mar-2009 at 16:59.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 812
    #9

    Re: sentence

    They were/became close after he became ill. I wonder what ever happened to them."
    and
    "They have been close since he has been ill. They've now decided to marry, and want me to be best man."


    Both sentences mean he is still ill, right?
    'They have been close since he was / has been ill' mean the same, right?
    Last edited by puzzle; 28-Mar-2009 at 16:58.

Similar Threads

  1. A question about using "that" in a sentence
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-Nov-2009, 13:05
  2. the whole sentence used as a noun
    By hamoodee in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-Oct-2006, 16:55
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Sep-2006, 14:07
  4. Attributive Clause - China Needs Your Help
    By ChinaDavid in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2005, 16:56
  5. grammar
    By jiang in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 17-Dec-2003, 20:02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •