since I + [past tense]

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thetazuo

Senior Member
Chinese - China
After considering the usage of "since" for a long time since the last thread, I have come up with some context for this structure: "... since + simple past(durative verb)". I think I used them correctly.

Are these dialogues ok? I here I use "since" in a temporal sense.
1. - Since when have you stopped having a bad headache?
- I have stopped having a bad headache since I stayed in that motel for a night. That motel is really an awful place to live!

2. - Since when have you felt relaxed?
- I have felt relaxed since I worked in that factory for a month. I was stressed out a lot working there and now I have resigned and I am feeling better.

3. - Since when have you not been bothered by your neighbors?
- I haven't been bothered by my neighbors since I slept for seven hours. My neighbors kept bothering me during my seven-hour sleep last night. Now I get up and no one bothers me any more. I didn't have a good sleep last night.

4. - Since when have you felt better?
- I have felt better since I lay on the sofa for three hours. Lying on the sofa just makes me feel dizzy. Now I no longer lie on the sofa and start walking around.

5. - Since when have you been in a better shape?
- I have been in a better shape since I smoked for a year. I have smoked for a year before, which seriously damaged my health. Now I quit smoking, and I am more healthy.

Thank you very much.
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm sorry but none of them works at all.They are all the wrong way round saying the opposite of what you intend.
    To take the first, since we can't answer multiple questions. Re-work your first when you've read our comments, or one of them and ask again about it.

    - Since when have you stopped having a bad headache?
    - I have stopped having a bad headache since I stayed in that motel for a night. That motel is really an awful place to live!
    You must mean you started having the bad headache after staying a night in a bad hotel. The question is since when did you stop having the headache.

    When did you start having the bad headache?
    When I stayed a night in a bad hotel.
    And when did you stop having the bad headache? When I got treatment from a good doctor./After visiting a good doctor.

    I haven't had a bad headache since I stopped drinking coffee.
     

    8thnote

    Senior Member
    English-Southern US
    After considering the usage of "since" for a long time since the last thread, I have come up with some context for this structure: "... since + simple past(durative verb)". I think I used them correctly.

    Are these dialogues ok? I here I use "since" in a temporal sense.
    1. - Since when have you stopped having a bad headache?
    - I have stopped having a bad headache since I stayed in that motel for a night. That motel is really an awful place to live!

    2. - Since when have you felt relaxed?
    - I have felt relaxed since I worked in that factory for a month. I was stressed out a lot working there and now I have resigned and I am feeling better.

    3. - Since when have you not been bothered by your neighbors?
    - I haven't been bothered by my neighbors since I slept for seven hours. My neighbors kept bothering me during my seven-hour sleep last night. Now I get up and no one bothers me any more. I didn't have a good sleep last night.

    4. - Since when have you felt better?
    - I have felt better since I lay on the sofa for three hours. Lying on the sofa just makes me feel dizzy. Now I no longer lie on the sofa and start walking around.

    5. - Since when have you been in a better shape?
    - I have been in a better shape since I smoked for a year. I have smoked for a year before, which seriously damaged my health. Now I quit smoking, and I am more healthy.

    Thank you very much.
    Actually, I hate to tell you that those are all wrong. Here's some correct examples:

    1. I stopped having a headache since I left that awful motel
    2. I have felt relaxed ever since I resigned from that stressful factory job.
    3. I haven't been bothered by the neighbors since I woke up.
    4. I have felt better since I quit lying on the sofa.
    5. I have felt better ever since I quit smoking.
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Actually, I hate to tell you that those are all wrong. Here's some correct examples:

    1. I stopped having a headache since I left that awful motel
    2. I have felt relaxed ever since I resigned from that stressful factory job.
    3. I haven't been bothered by the neighbors since I woke up.
    4. I have felt better since I quit lying on the sofa.
    5. I have felt better ever since I quit smoking.
    Thank you. I have anticipated that your answer is as such. But I still have a question. Why does this sentence work while my sentences don't.
    "I haven't heard from her since she lived in London." (This means "I haven't heard from her after she stopped living in London/she no longer lives in London")
    Because "live" is also a durative verb, just like "stay" "work" "sleep" "lie" "smoke", right?
     

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    I'm sorry but none of them works at all.They are all the wrong way round saying the opposite of what you intend.
    To take the first, since we can't answer multiple questions. Re-work your first when you've read our comments, or one of them and ask again about it.



    You must mean you started having the bad headache after staying a night in a bad hotel. The question is since when did you stop having the headache.

    When did you start having the bad headache?
    When I stayed a night in a bad hotel.
    And when did you stop having the bad headache? When I got treatment from a good doctor./After visiting a good doctor.

    I haven't had a bad headache since I stopped drinking coffee.
    Thank you. I have expected your answer as it is. Please see my reply above. I still have a question.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    But I still have a question. Why does this sentence work while my sentences don't.
    "I haven't heard from her since she lived in London." (This means "I haven't heard from her after she stopped living in London/she no longer lives in London"):cross:
    Because "live" is also a durative verb, just like "stay" "work" "sleep" "lie" "smoke", right?
    Somehow, there's a huge misunderstanding. Your interpretation of the sentence in red is not correct.

    The simple past has no immediately clear meaning in 'I haven't heard from her since she lived in London'. You have to express the idea as you did in your explanation. 'I haven't heard from her since she left London' or ' moved away from London' or 'went to live in London'. Those ideas/actions are viewed as past points in time.

    'Lived' in London is regarded as a period in time, several months for instance if not years.
    So we don't have a point in time when something happened or didn't happen. It could mean that you didn't hear from her again after she went to live in London.

    I had to read what a 'durative' is, and the opposite 'punctual' or 'momentary' verbs. As you say live/work/ sleep/ lie/ smoke/ are classed as durative because they go on for some time, while hit/knock/ move?/go?/stop/start are punctual because they happen once. The significance seems to be mainly in not using the continuous tenses with the 'punctuals' unless they mean the action is repeated.

    Here's a previous thread about it. Lucas was a great grammarian.

    Durative or punctual?

    I don't think the distinction is helping you much with 'since' structures, unless it is true that 'durative' verbs can't be used in the simple past after 'since'.


    2. - Since when have you felt relaxed?
    - I have felt worked in that factory for a month. I was stressed out a lot working there and now I have resigned and I am feeling better.

    I've felt relaxed since I stopped working in that factory,

    3. - Since when have you not been bothered by your neighbors?
    - I haven't been bothered by my neighbors since I slept for seven hours. My neighbors kept bothering me during my seven-hour sleep last night. Now I get up and no one bothers me any more. I didn't have a good sleep last night.

    I haven't been bothered by my neighbours since they moved away.
    I've been getting an uninterrupted seven hours sleep since their house burnt down.

    4. - Since when have you felt better?
    - I have felt better since I lay on the sofa for three hours. Lying on the sofa just makes me feel dizzy. Now I no longer lie on the sofa and start walking around.

    I've felt better since I stopped lying on the sofa.

    5. - Since when have you been in a better shape?
    - I have been in a better shape since I smoked for a year. I have smoked for a year before, which seriously damaged my health. Now I quit smoking, and I am more healthy.

    I've been in better shape since I stopped smoking.

    I seem to have used 'stopped' in all of them.
    I'll be interested to read other comments. :)
     
    Last edited:

    thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    But I still have a question. Why does this sentence work while my sentences don't.
    "I haven't heard from her since she lived in London." (This means "I haven't heard from her after she stopped living in London/she no longer lives in London"):cross:
    Because "live" is also a durative verb, just like "stay" "work" "sleep" "lie" "smoke", right?

    Somehow, there's a huge misunderstanding. Your interpretation of the sentence in red is not correct.

    The simple past has no immediately clear meaning in 'I haven't heard from her since she lived in London'. You have to express the idea as you did in your explanation. 'I haven't heard from her since she left London' or ' moved away from London' or 'went to live in London'. Those ideas/actions are viewed as past points in time.

    'Lived' in London is regarded as a period in time, several months for instance if not years.
    So we don't have a point in time when something happened or didn't happen. It could mean that you didn't hear from her again after she went to live in London.

    I had to read what a 'durative' is, and the opposite 'punctual' or 'momentary' verbs. As you say live/work/ sleep/ lie/ smoke/ are classed as durative because they go on for some time, while hit/knock/ move?/go?/stop/start are punctual because they happen once. The significance seems to be mainly in not using the continuous tenses with the 'punctuals' unless they mean the action is repeated.

    Here's a previous thread about it. Lucas was a great grammarian.

    Durative or punctual?

    I don't think the distinction is helping you much with 'since' structures, unless it is true that 'durative' verbs can't be used in the simple past after 'since'.


    2. - Since when have you felt relaxed?
    - I have felt worked in that factory for a month. I was stressed out a lot working there and now I have resigned and I am feeling better.

    I've felt relaxed since I stopped working in that factory,

    3. - Since when have you not been bothered by your neighbors?
    - I haven't been bothered by my neighbors since I slept for seven hours. My neighbors kept bothering me during my seven-hour sleep last night. Now I get up and no one bothers me any more. I didn't have a good sleep last night.

    I haven't been bothered by my neighbours since they moved away.
    I've been getting an uninterrupted seven hours sleep since their house burnt down.

    4. - Since when have you felt better?
    - I have felt better since I lay on the sofa for three hours. Lying on the sofa just makes me feel dizzy. Now I no longer lie on the sofa and start walking around.

    I've felt better since I stopped lying on the sofa.

    5. - Since when have you been in a better shape?
    - I have been in a better shape since I smoked for a year. I have smoked for a year before, which seriously damaged my health. Now I quit smoking, and I am more healthy.

    I've been in better shape since I stopped smoking.

    I seem to have used 'stopped' in all of them.
    I'll be interested to read other comments. :)
    Thank you for your explanation and your recommended thread.
    I interpreted the sentence in red this way because I have read this thread
    since she lived in London [=after she moved to London?]

    Ok. Now I know the meaning of "I haven't heard from her since she lived in London." is not clear. But is it also wrong?

    You said you don't know if it is true that 'durative' verbs can't be used in the simple past after 'since'. So I think to determine whether the claim is true is too big a question to answer.
    I suppose the structure is going to be wrong in most cases, but it might be correct in a few cases.
    So could you come up with a scenario where this structure might work?
     

    8thnote

    Senior Member
    English-Southern US
    Thank you for your explanation and your recommended thread.
    I interpreted the sentence in red this way because I have read this thread
    since she lived in London [=after she moved to London?]

    Ok. Now I know the meaning of "I haven't heard from her since she lived in London." is not clear. But is it also wrong?

    You said you don't know if it is true that 'durative' verbs can't be used in the simple past after 'since'. So I think to determine whether the claim is true is too big a question to answer.
    I suppose the structure is going to be wrong in most cases, but it might be correct in a few cases.
    So could you come up with a scenario where this structure might work?
    Let me try to explain it again. "I haven't heard from her since she lived in London" is a correct sentence, but it means the opposite of what you seem to think it means.

    "My friend Joe used to live in London. When he lived in London, he called me every week. Now he lives in Berlin and he does not call me anymore. I have not heard from Joe SINCE he lived in London."

    In other words, "I haven't heard from him in the period of time AFTER he lived in London". This sentence is not totally grammatically correct (I believe), I simply used it to try to better convey the meaning of the original sentence.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Coming late to this thread, I'm struck by the problems caused by the multiple examples. It would be easier to handle a major misunderstanding like this, with just one example, or, perhaps, just two of the kind posited by the Cambridge Grammar, to examine two different, but closely related, cases.

    1. In a sentence which includes a time clause with “Since” we generally prefer a simple past verb in the time clause and present perfect verb in the main clause.

    E.g. since Mr. Hassan became president, both taxes and unemployment have increased. (rather than…. has)
    E.g. She hasn’t been able to play tennis since she broke her arm. (rather than…. Has broken)

    2. Notice, however, that we use present perfect in the time clause if the two situations described in the main clause and time clause extend until the present.

    E.g. Have you met any of your neighbors since you’ve lived here? (not… you lived)


    If we apply these principles and avoid 'durative' verbs for the time being, I think we stand a chance of starting to solve Thetazuo's problems. Above all, I'm worried that he seems to want to vault before he can jump in structures using since and past tenses.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This thread suffers from too many examples. I am closing it.

    Thetazuo, if you have a particular sentence you would like to discuss further, you are welcome to open a thread on that topic.
    (Before you do that, please look at previous threads on since simple past. They discuss specific examples that you may be interested in.)

    Cagey,
    moderator
     
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