Since I've been loving you/Since I've loved you

ALEX1981X

Banned
Italian
Hi all :)
From a song of ledzeppelin
http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/ledzeppelin/sinceivebeenlovingyou.html

I read:

But baby, Since I've Been Loving You. I'm about to lose my worried mind...

To me the above is wrong because it should be just "since I loved".

Starting from that I'd like to know if the sentence I've been happier since I loved you makes sense in your view, because I'm struggling to see I've been happier since I've been loving you/since I've loved you as correct

Maybe I'm missing something about the nature of the verb "to love" and frankly I'd need your help here

Thanks a lot everybody
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi
    You know, we really don't advise lyrics for grammar points. It's a song, the writers do things to suit the music not grammar.

    On the other hand, we do say " since I've been loving you... " because the action is on-going, I suppose.
    We would use "since I loved you" to refer to an action in the past and it could imply the love affair is all in the past too.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    (...) Maybe I'm missing something about the nature of the verb "to love" (...)
    Spot on, Alex! The point here is that "love" is a stative verb. If you look at the British Council Learn English site here, you'll see that stative verbs are "not usually used in the continuous form, even when we are talking about temporary situations or states ..."
    So strictly speaking, you are correct, but as suzi says, we can sometimes use them to stress that the action (even of a stative verb) is - or has been - in progress, and this is actually one of the trends in the way the use of English is developing.

    If you look at this grammatically related thread, for example, #5 (;)) is very informative on the point you're querying here.
    Then, as suzi also says, people who write poetry or music lyrics use all kinds of poetic licence to play around with the conventions of language, often to suit the rhyme or metre of their line, so expect the unexpected.

    [Ed: if you want to find out more, there's a Polish research paper on it here (pdf file): 'Stative Verbs and the Progressive Aspect in English', Joanna Smiecinska, Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 38, 2002/2003 pp 187-195.]
     
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    bennymix

    Senior Member
    Thanks Enquiring. If I may quote from the source you cited:

    [Kakietek (1997) stated]
    "The overwhelming majority of statives when used under appropriate circumstances
    are quite free to take the Progressive and cannot be view a constituing a separate syntactic
    category.
    Smiecinska's data and findings generally confirmed this position.

    =====

    The famous pop song "I've been loving you too long [to stop now]" is a good example { http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I've_Been_Loving_You_Too_Long } .

    "I have loved you too long to stop now" does not quite work. It's interesting that some alleged 'stative' verbs can be used with 'stop' [as above; same with 'like'], but others cannot, "I stopped knowing where my house was located"[?:cross:]
     

    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    Hi
    You know, we really don't advise lyrics for grammar points. It's a song, the writers do things to suit the music not grammar.

    On the other hand, we do say " since I've been loving you... " because the action is on-going, I suppose.
    We would use "since I loved you" to refer to an action in the past and it could imply the love affair is all in the past too.
    If I wanted to convey that "I've been happier" since I loved you but I still love you, would the followings be acceptable?

    I've been happier since I've loved you/since I've been loving you
    I've been happier since I started loving you
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    If I wanted to convey that "I've been happier" since I loved you but I still love you, would the followings be acceptable?

    I've been happier since I've loved you/since I've been loving you
    I've been happier since I started loving you
    Yes, to convey this meaning I would use the "started loving you" option, or maybe since I've been loving you ... but not since I've loved you.

    :)
     

    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    Yes, to convey this meaning I would use the "started loving you" option, or maybe since I've been loving you ... but not since I've loved you.

    :)
    Thanks. Maybe it is safer to say, with the very same meaning, I've been happier for as long as I've been loving you (I'm still happy and I still love you now)

    Does it work?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Cant you just buy them some flowers and do less with the words? ;)

    If you are going to start a sentence with I've been happier .... you really need a comparison point, so I really dont really like it without the SINCE.
     

    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    Cant you just buy them some flowers and do less with the words? ;)

    If you are going to start a sentence with I've been happier .... you really need a comparison point, so I really dont really like it without the SINCE.
    Sure Suzy ;) thank you so much

    Would it be at least possible that "since I've loved you , I've been happier" might also mean that my love is still effective now although my "loving you" happened in the past?
     

    Lark-lover

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Sure Suzy ;) thank you so much

    Would it be at least possible that "since I've loved you , I've been happier" might also mean that my love is still effective now although my "loving you" happened in the past?
    Since I've loved you>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>until this moment ( I have been happier). I, for one, feel it as you do.
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    I can read the "since I've loved you" also as "because I [have] loved you." Speaking of which, when you use "since" to note a moment in time, you should continue with past tense: "since I loved you." As in, "Since I saw you, I can't stop thinking about you." So your idea of "Since I started loving you" works if you use it in something like "Since I started loving you I've been happier than before." Or something. It's rather too convoluted, and that "and before" there doesn't quite work, after all.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    There is nothing wrong with the original sentence from the song except the punctuation, but it is somewhat ambiguous. It is not just words that fit the music: it is ordinary conversational English. The most likely meaning is based on since = "because".

    There is also nothing wrong with the sentence "I've been happier since I've been loving you", and its most likely meaning is that I have been happier during the time in which I have been loving you than I was before I started loving you.

    I realize there are several sticking points here for students learning English as a foreign language:

    • The notion of stative verbs. Whatever "rules" there may be for verbs like own or know, they do not fit the verb love. In particular, I am loving is a perfectly valid construct and has been for centuries.
    • The use of present perfect in a (temporal) since clause. There is room for ambiguity here, especially with verbs like live, as in "since I've lived in Texas", which could mean either "during the time in which I have been living in Texas" or "during the time since I left Texas", depending on context. Possible ambiguity should not be confused with invalid sentence construction.
    • The use of "I'm about to" in the original sentence rather than a present perfect. The meaning is that, not only have I been about to lose my mind lately, but I still am, at present, in such a state. This may confuse those who have been taught that, for example, "I am here since three days ago" is just wrong. The truth is that it is unusual, not wrong. It means that I came here three days ago and I am still here. It is of course true that English does not use simple present as much as, for example, Romance languages.
     

    ALEX1981X

    Banned
    Italian
    Thanks Forero :)

    What would this mean to you: I've been happier since I've loved you

    Does it imply that I still love you? This what I was trying to say at #10 compared to "since I loved you" (maybe the love is ended now)
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    The notion of stative verbs. Whatever "rules" there may be for verbs like own or know, they do not fit the verb love. In particular, I am loving is a perfectly valid construct and has been for centuries.
    This statement is factually incorrect. Stative verbs (like love, own and know) are not usually used in progressive (continuous) tenses. We do a disservice to learners of English if we suggest otherwise.
     
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    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    This statement is factually incorrect. Stative verbs (like love, own and know) are not usually used in progressive (continuous) tenses. We do a disservice to learners of English if we suggest otherwise.
    I have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I feel that it does learners a disservice to suggest that using love in progressive tenses is a new thing, or that love, own, and know have the same characteristics in regard to verbal aspect usage.

    It seems evident to me (and studies have shown, at least for conservative AmE speakers) that any incompatibility between so-called stative verbs and progressive aspect is due only to their meanings.

    The verb love has several different meanings, and the progressive aspect several different uses, but I find that Merriam-Webster's definition 2a for love as a transitive verb works in the original sentence: "to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for". Because "since I've been feeling a lover's passion for you" makes sense, so does "since I've been loving you."

    Feelings are not static. What a person usually feels and what that person is feeling now or has been feeling lately are different concepts, so there is a perfectly legitimate reason to use "I've been feeling" and hence "I've been loving", when that is what we mean, rather than being forced to substitute "I've loved". In fact, substituting "loved" for "been loving" in "I've been happier since I've been loving you" significantly alters the meaning.
     

    Willower

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    Thanks Forero :)

    What would this mean to you: I've been happier since I've loved you

    Does it imply that I still love you? This what I was trying to say at #10 compared to "since I loved you" (maybe the love is ended now)
    Yes Alex, to me it would imply exactly that - the love is ongoing.


    As to the correctness of I'm loving -or the use of the present progressive for other stative verbs, I don't think the rules are completely inflexible. As Enquiring Mind says they are not usually used in the progressive form, but the number of verbs that are never used in the progressive form is small.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thanks Forero :)

    What would this mean to you: I've been happier since I've loved you

    Does it imply that I still love you?
    In the original context, the person singing the song is clearly uncomfortable, not happy. "I've been happier" in such a context suggests "I have been happier than I am now", but the rest of the sentence "since I've loved you" is then out of place no matter what the intended meaning.

    Taking this sentence out of the original context, "I've been happier" suggests "I have been happier lately than I was before", but disambiguating "since I've loved you" requires further context. This sentence mentions my having been happier and my having loved you, but it says nothing about my loving or not loving you now.
    This what I was trying to say at #10 compared to "since I loved you" (maybe the love is ended now)
    Since I loved you, if it is to be taken in a temporal sense, is about my happiness following my loving you. It does not say whether I love you (again) now since the only present tense in the sentence has perfect aspect.
     
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