I am having great problems with the correct usage of "depuis". Here is what I learned about a year ago:
- If the event being described has ended, then speak in the past tense (not sure whether passé composé or imparfait)
- If not, use the present
So, I must say j'ai des cheveux bouclés depuis que j'avais 16 ans if I still have curly hair. If not, then I must use a past tense.
But my French penpal, with whom I talk every day via Skype, often uses the passé composé with depuis to talk about events which are still occurring! For instance, today I was telling him that Auckland (in New Zealand, where I live) is built on active volcanoes and that we will certainly have an eruption at some point in the future. I said il n'arrive pas depuis longtemps to say that an eruption hasn't happened for a long time. He corrected me with the passé composé!!
I am wondering whether this is one of those things where what is learned by foreign language learners is different from the current usage of the language? In which case what on earth am I supposed to do?
Can you kind folks please help a thoroughly confused débutante?
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