He didn't do that from when he was a teenager.

IlyaTretyakov

Senior Member
Russian
I've recently learnt that we can use "since" only with the connection to the present. But how should we say about THOSE ABSOLUTELY SAME actions but after they stopped? (I know about the past perfect but it has a connection to another moment in the past which is not the case here)

A:
1. She's been going to his grave every weekend since 1923. (She still goes there)
2. She went/was going to his grave every weekend (?) 1923. (She doesn't go there anymore)(from?)

B:
1. He hasn't done that since he was a teenager. (He's alive)
2. He didn't do that (?) he was a teenager. (He's dead)(from when?)

C:
1. He's been looking after them ever since he's been living here. (He still looks after them)
2. He looked/was looking after them ever (?) he had been living here. (He died many years ago)(after?)

D:
1. I've been there many times since I've known him. (He is still alive)
2. I went there many times (?) I had known him. (He died many years
ago)(after?)

What should we change "since" to in 2's after those actions stopped/finished?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    2. She went/was going to his grave every weekend (?) 1923. (She doesn't go there anymore)(from?)
    From is likely. It might well appear in a phrase like this one: ...every weekend from 1923 until her death in 1957.

    2. He didn't do that (?) he was a teenager. (He's dead)(from when?)
    From when is possible. So is after. Once/when he became an adult seems a little more likely to me.

    He looked/was looking after them ever (?) he had been living here. (He died many years ago)(after?)
    I expect to read this sentence: He looked after them ever since he started living here.

    I went there many times (?) I had known him. (He died many years
    ago)(after?)
    I expect something like this: I went there many times after I first met him.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Since relates to the starting point of something. There’s no reason why you can’t use it in a past-tense narrative, where it states when something began in relation to a certain later point in the story. But in that case, the earlier of those two time references has to be in the past perfect, as a backshift from the past tense of the narrative overall.

    She had been going to his grave every weekend since 1923. :tick:
    He hadn’t done that since he was a teenager. :tick:
    He had been looking after them ever since he moved in there. :tick:
    I had been there many times since first meeting him. :tick:
     

    IlyaTretyakov

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Since relates to the starting point of something. There’s no reason why you can’t use it in a past-tense narrative, where it states when something began in relation to a certain later point in the story. :tick:
    < ----- >
    I've recently learnt that we can use "since" only with the connection to the present. But how should we say about THOSE ABSOLUTELY SAME actions but after they stopped? (I know about the past perfect but it has a connection to another moment in the past which is not the case here)

    I perfectly understand that I can say:
    He's been looking after them ever since he's been living here. (in relation to now)
    and
    He'd been looking after them ever since he'd been living here. (in relation to a certain later point in the story)

    But, sometimes I just state a fact from the past, there's no relation to a certain later point in the story.
    He looked/was looking(?) after them ever (after?) he started living here/had been living(?) here.

    < Edited to remove off-topic comment. Cagey, moderator >
     
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    IlyaTretyakov

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I was demonstrating the only way in which you can relate since to a past reference. All your examples are wrong.
    All? Do you mean even these ones? What's wrong with the two below?

    I perfectly understand that I can say:
    He's been looking after them ever since he's been living there. (in relation to now)
    and
    He'd been looking after them ever since he'd been living there. (in relation to a certain later point in the story)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Well, they’re both the same sentence, expressed in different tenses. And it’s a fairly common way of expressing that sort of thing, especially in informal use. My point about it (as you can see from my tweaked version in #3) is that the real meaning is during all the time that he’s been living there (during that period) – not since that period.

    He moved in on 10 January last year and he’s been looking after them ever since that date. — preposition​
    He moved in on 10 January last year and he’s been looking after them ever since he moved in. — conjunction​
    He moved in on 10 January last year and he’s been looking after them ever since. — adverb​
    Admittedly, Lexico’s main usage example for since as a conjunction is almost identical to your sentence. But, needless to say, I find that a really poor example (sadly, inappropriate examples, and totally wrong synonyms, are far from unusual on that site).
     

    IlyaTretyakov

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Well, they’re both the same sentence, expressed in different tenses. And it’s a fairly common way of expressing that sort of thing, especially in informal use. My point about it (as you can see from my tweaked version in #3) is that the real meaning is during all the time that he’s been living there (during that period) – not since that period.

    He moved in on 10 January last year and he’s been looking after them ever since that date. — preposition​
    He moved in on 10 January last year and he’s been looking after them ever since he moved in. — conjunction​
    He moved in on 10 January last year and he’s been looking after them ever since. — adverb​
    Admittedly, Lexico’s main usage example for since as a conjunction is almost identical to your sentence. But, needless to say, I find that a really poor example (sadly, inappropriate examples, and totally wrong synonyms, are far from unusual on that site).

    I don't know why you say using "since + a period of time/perfect aspect" is incorrect(or unusual). Cambridge disagrees with you on this point. "It’s been years since I’ve ridden a bike." it's from the site.

    Since.png
    Since 2.png
    Since 3.png
    Since 6.png
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I don't know why you say using "since + a period of time/perfect aspect" is incorrect(or unusual). Cambridge disagrees with you on this point. "It’s been years since I’ve ridden a bike."
    As I said before, since refers back to the starting point of a period leading up to now.

    That example is a very common idiomatic usage, of course. It’s fine. But it says since “I’ve ridden a bike”, and “I’ve ridden a bike” is not a period of time. It’s a past event serving as the starting point of a period during which you hadn’t ridden a bike again – until now (or then, in the case of an earlier time reference).

    In short, what denotes the period itself is “It’s been years”, rather than the word since, which simply relates the present to the beginning of the period of not having ridden a bike.

    Years have passed/It’s years/It’s been years since [the last occasion on which] I rode a bike.​
     

    IlyaTretyakov

    Senior Member
    Russian
    As I said before, since refers back to the starting point of a period leading up to now.

    That example is a very common idiomatic usage, of course. It’s fine. But it says since “I’ve ridden a bike”, and “I’ve ridden a bike” is not a period of time. It’s a past event serving as the starting point of a period during which you hadn’t ridden a bike again – until now (or then, in the case of an earlier time reference).
    But, "since I've been living here" and "since I've known him" is not a starting point. It's a period that extends until now.

    Since 2.png

    Advanced Grammar in Use, Cambridge.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    That’s how it’s sometimes said, I agree. But the fact remains that since (an earlier event or time) doesn’t actually mean during (a certain period), even when it’s used in that way. It’s just a usage that’s developed over time when since is used as a conjunction (followed by a clause).

    The OED, under since as a conjunction, defines that usage like this:
    b. Used in place of ‘that’.
    1804 C. Smith, Conversations, I. 162 : It is near four months since Ella has been away.​
     
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