# THESE DAYS vs SINCE

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#### shun

##### Member
THESE DAYS vs SINCE

On last Friday the kids went to live with their grandma for a few days. People ask about them and of course I say a continuity "The kids live with their grandma". However, I want to give it a timing and find it very interesting.

If we add 'these days', it is still a continuity:
Ex: The kids live with their grandma these days.

But if we add 'since last Friday', the Simple Present cannot be a continuity:
Ex: *The kids live with their grandma since last Friday.

To keep the impression of continuity, we have to change the tense from Simple Present to Present Perfect:
Ex: The kids have lived with their grandma since last Friday.

How shall we explain this phenomenon? Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.

Shun Tang

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
shun said:
On last Friday the kids went to live with their grandma for a few days. People ask about them and of course I say a continuity "The kids live with their grandma". However, I want to give it a timing and find it very interesting.

Say: "Last Friday...." Also, since it is only supposed to be a few days, say they are staying with their grandma. We would say they are living with her to indicate a more or less permanent state of affairs.

You can say they have been staying with their grandma since last Friday.

#### shun

##### Member
RonBee said:
shun said:
On last Friday the kids went to live with their grandma for a few days. People ask about them and of course I say a continuity "The kids live with their grandma". However, I want to give it a timing and find it very interesting.

Say: "Last Friday...." Also, since it is only supposed to be a few days, say they are staying with their grandma. We would say they are living with her to indicate a more or less permanent state of affairs.

You can say they have been staying with their grandma since last Friday.

As you say:
We would say they are living with her to indicate a more or less permanent state of affairs.

Obviously, I don't mean that state. :roll:

Both Present Perfect or Perfect Continuous are OK.

The question has been changed but not answereded.
:wink:

Tell me if the tenses are wrong or ungrammatical.

:!: Even in your tenses, the question is still there intact.

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
Use the present continuous: are staying.

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
Ex: The kids live with their grandma these days.

'live' expresses a general fact. The simple present is used to express a general fact.

Ex: *The kids live with their grandma since last Friday.

'since last Friday' expresses continuity. 'live' does not. The present tense is used to express a general fact.

Ex: The kids have lived with their grandma since last Friday.

'have lived' expresses continuity. The Perfect expresses continuity.

How shall we explain this phenomenon? Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.

What's the phenomenon? Tense and aspect are different; the adverbs that modify them have different functions.

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
I don't think in AE we would say the kids have lived with their grandma since last Friday. We would say they have been staying with their grandma since last Friday.

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
RonBee said:
I don't think in AE we would say the kids have lived with their grandma since last Friday. We would say they have been staying with their grandma since last Friday.

Agreed. Thanks for that.

The kids have been living with their grandma since last Friday.
==> State of Continuity

Nice one RonBee

#### shun

##### Member
Casiopea said:
Ex: The kids live with their grandma these days.

'live' expresses a general fact. The simple present is used to express a general fact.

Ex: *The kids live with their grandma since last Friday.

'since last Friday' expresses continuity. 'live' does not. The present tense is used to express a general fact.

Ex: The kids have lived with their grandma since last Friday.

'have lived' expresses continuity. The Perfect expresses continuity.

How shall we explain this phenomenon? Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.

What's the phenomenon? Tense and aspect are different; the adverbs that modify them have different functions.

I want to know what is aspect? :?

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
Aspect
https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/aspect.html

To clarify:
• I would say the children have been living with their grandma but I would not say the children have been living with their grandma since last Friday. That is because the expression been living suggests to me an extended period of time.

#### shun

##### Member
RonBee said:
Aspect
https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/aspect.html

To clarify:
• I would say the children have been living with their grandma but I would not say the children have been living with their grandma since last Friday. That is because the expression been living suggests to me an extended period of time.

I live in Hong Kong and I want to give a timing of it.

If we add 'these years', it is still a continuity:
Ex: I live in Hong Kong these years.

But if we add 'since 1976', the Simple Present cannot be a continuity:
Ex: *I live in Hong Kong since 1972.

To keep the impression of continuity, we have to change the tense from Simple Present to Present Perfect:
Ex: I have lived in Hong Kong since 1997.

How shall we explain this phenomenon? Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.

#### shun

##### Member
RonBee said:
Aspect
https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/aspect.html

To clarify:
• I would say the children have been living with their grandma but I would not say the children have been living with their grandma since last Friday. That is because the expression been living suggests to me an extended period of time.

I have visited the link to aspect:
Aspect in a Verb shows whether the action or state is complete or not:
She's doing a crossword puzzle. (incomplete- progressive aspect)
They've washed up. (complete- perfect aspect)
The progressive aspect is often called 'continuous'.

But Simple Past also denotes something complete, why it isn't past aspect?
:?:

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
shun said:
I live in Hong Kong and I want to give a timing of it.

I am afraid I don't know what that means. :?

shun said:
I live in Hong Kong these years.

That is not a grammatical sentence. Perhaps:
• I have lived in Hong Kong for several years.

shun said:
I live in Hong Kong since 1972.

That is not a grammatical sentence. Perhaps:
• I have lived in Hong Kong since 1972.

shun said:
I have lived in Hong Kong since 1997.

That is good.

shun said:
Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they?

I don't understand. What are they different from?

:?

#### shun

##### Member
:?: I want to make clear this: Simple Past also denotes something complete, why it isn't past aspect?

Also, adverbials like these days, these weeks, these years, can work alone, dispensing with preposition.

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
RonBee said:
Aspect
https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/aspect.html

To clarify:
• I would say the children have been living with their grandma but I would not say the children have been living with their grandma since last Friday. That is because the expression been living suggests to me an extended period of time.

Good point. I see what you mean and I agree. However, and not to be challenging, speakers use been living to express been staying when referring to a temporary home:

I've been living in this hotel since last Friday.

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
If we add 'these years', it is still a continuity:
Ex: I live in Hong Kong these years.

I live in Hong Kong does not express continuity. It expresses a general fact. Add 'these days', add 'today', it still expresses a general fact.

Ex: *I live in Hong Kong since 1972.

It means, *"I live in Hong Kong from then until now." 'from then' refers to the past and 'now' refers to the present, so use the present perfect:

I have lived in Hong Kong since 1972.

Why would you want to use the simple present to express the present perfect? 'since' refers to two points in time; the present simple does not, and, moreover, cannot, even if you add 'since' to it.

To keep the impression of continuity, we have to change the tense from Simple Present to Present Perfect:
Ex: I have lived in Hong Kong since 1997.

It's not to maintain the continuity; it's to add continuity. "I live" is a general fact, not a continuity of time. It means, you are located. How that expresses continuity baffles me.

How shall we explain this phenomenon? Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.
[/quote]

This is what I have noticed: you are treating the simple present as if it's supposed to be the present prefect, and you are having problems doing it because you've failed to recognize that they are not one and the same. Most importantly, the ungrammatical examples you provide demonstrate that the two are not the same, so why continue to treat them as if they were? Or have I missed your point.

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
shun said:
:?: I want to make clear this: Simple Past also denotes something complete, why it isn't past aspect?

Aspect in a Verb shows whether the action or state is complete or not:

She's doing a crossword puzzle. (incomplete- progressive aspect)
They've washed up. (complete- perfect aspect)
The progressive aspect is often called 'continuous'.

Now, there's something we can agree on. I, too, am somewhat confused by the us(ag)e of the term 'complete'.

I have lived here since May of 2001.

==> Does the present prefect aspect express that I no longer live here?

:shock:

#### Casiopea

##### VIP Member
shun said:
Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.

Here's a list of adverbs of time. I hope they help.

after afterwards always at the same time as before by and by during earlier than for a long time frequently from time to time in a few minutes in the mornings last week lately later than long ago many times many years ago never now and then occasionally often once in a while once upon a time rarely recently sometimes soon today tomorrow usually yesterday

#### shun

##### Member
Casiopea said:
shun said:
Have you ever noticed this? Time adverbials seem to be different, don't they? Your opinion is welcome.

Here's a list of adverbs of time. I hope they help.

after afterwards always at the same time as before by and by during earlier than for a long time frequently from time to time in a few minutes in the mornings last week lately later than long ago many times many years ago never now and then occasionally often once in a while once upon a time rarely recently sometimes soon today tomorrow usually yesterday

If a moderator wants to cut my question in half, so that I have referred not the adverbials I have posted above, but to all the other time adverbials I didn't ask, it is his smart choice. It is not funny.

#### Red5

##### Webmaster, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Shun, what are you talking about?

#### RonBee

##### Moderator
shun said:
Also, adverbials like these days, these weeks, these years, can work alone, dispensing with preposition.

I've heard these days but the others on that list are unfamiliar to me. I would definitely use these years to mean a number of years. The phrase these days is used to mean something like the present time.

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