Using 'since' in a past perfect tense

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Flogger20

Senior Member
Persian, Iran
Hello,

I have been taught that we are not allowed to use "since" in a past perfect tense and instead of it we must use 'by the time,' but a few days ago I saw a sentence while doing my homework which wondered me! See it:

Since Mel had read many books on raising children, he thought he was an expert.
I know that we can use 'since' in present perfect tense but really I was not cognizant of exerting it in a past perfect tense. I want to ask you that is the above text grammatical? I mean can we both use 'by the time' and 'since' in a past perfect tense?

Regards.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    There are (at least) two meanings of "since"

    I had not seen him since Tuesday -> since = from a definite time in the past (Tuesday).
    I did not buy it since it was too large. -> since = because.

    Which since do you mean?
     

    Flogger20

    Senior Member
    Persian, Iran
    The rule you have been taught is about when since means after that point in time. It does not apply to the example of #1, in which since means because.
    I know that 'since' has got two different meanings but I guess the author of the original text wanted to use 'since' in the way of 'after that point in time."

    If we want to use 'since' as 'after that point in time' what should we say? Is it grammatical to say:

    By the time Mel had read books on raising children, he thought he was an expert.
     

    Flogger20

    Senior Member
    Persian, Iran
    There are (at least) two meanings of "since"

    I had not seen him since Tuesday -> since = from a definite time in the past (Tuesday).
    I did not buy it since it was too large. -> since = because.

    Which since do you mean?
    I meant the first one.

    But I have got problem with your sentence. why didn't you say:

    I had not seen him by the time of Tuesday.

    I really have read that we are not allowed anymore to use "since' in the past perfect tense. I don't know how could you use it. Would you please provide me more examples :confused:
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If you look at the threads listed at the end of since past perfect you will see lots of discussion about this topic, and lots of valid examples.
    It is possible, and natural, to use 'since' with past perfect when 'since' means something like 'from the time that'.

    But in the specific topic example, 'since' means as, or because, and has no time reference.
     

    Flogger20

    Senior Member
    Persian, Iran
    Because that is completely wrong. It is not English. :oops:
    So, I can use "since" both in the past perfect and in the past perfect, yeah? Like the sentence below:

    Since in 1997 I had left the University I could not manage to read even a book.

    Is my sentence correct?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Since in 1997 = Because, in 1997, I had left the University I could not manage to read even a book.

    It does not mean "From the time that I left university in 1997..."
     

    Flogger20

    Senior Member
    Persian, Iran
    Since in 1997 = Because, in 1997, I had left the University I could not manage to read even a book.

    It does not mean "From the time that I left university in 1997..."
    what would I do if I wanted to say "From the time........"? I want to use "since" in my last example as a meaning of "from the time .......". Would you please correct it?

    Thanks.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Since in 1997, when I had left the University, I had/have not had time even to read a book.

    You will see that if you want to use since = after that point in time, you must use a time clause/phrase
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    I know that 'since' has got two different meanings but I guess the author of the original text wanted to use 'since' in the way of 'after that point in time."

    If we want to use 'since' as 'after that point in time' what should we say? Is it grammatical to say:

    By the time Mel had read books on raising children, he thought he was an expert.
    WHY do you think the author of your original text used "since" to refer to time? The only way the sentence makes sense is for "since" to mean "because." Which leads me to...

    It does not apply to the example of #1, in which since means because.
    A use of since that makes me wince! :D In professional writing within my consulting firm, I encourage people to use because or given that instead.
     

    Flogger20

    Senior Member
    Persian, Iran
    WHY do you think the author of your original text used "since" to refer to time? The only way the sentence makes sense is for "since" to mean "because." Which leads me to...

    Coz in Persian it seems awkward to use "since" in that sentence to mean "because" :D I know that it's English but I really can't explain that why I had thought that "since" would have meant "from the time..".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    A use of since that makes me wince!
    It's only been used like that for 500 years - I suppose it takes some getting used to. :) 1540 J. Palsgrave tr. G. Gnapheus Comedye of Acolastus ii. i. sig. Iiij, Go to, let it be,..syns it lyketh so.
     
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