Verb Tense with Since

Marc wrote in with a question for the English Master:

English is not my mother tongue; but I am very interested in improving my English. One of my problems is “Since.” What tense should I use after since? Example: I haven’t seen you, since…

“Since” is typically used to suggest a passage of time—from then until now, or between then and now—as we see in Marc’s example. In the example, since could be followed by a simple noun, such as “November”: I haven’t seen you since November.

However, Marc’s question suggests that he would like “since” to begin a clause, which is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb. In that case, we would follow “since” with a verb in the past tense: I haven’t seen you since you won the Olympic gold medal in fencing.

Extra Credit: “Since” can also mean “because,” or “inasmuch as.” If we use it in this sense, the verb that follows it could be in any tense. For example: We can go outside tomorrow, since the weather will be glorious.

Thanks a lot for the question, Marc!

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3 Responses to Verb Tense with Since

  1. Elaine Walsh says:

    Although I learned my English theory when Napoleon was still a cadet, I was taught to say
    “HIS coming was unexpected” not “Him coming …”
    “YOUR coming …” not “YOU coming”
    I hear and read “HIM coming” from all sources including politicians, novelists, journalists and public speakers. Please set all of us straight …have the Gerund rules changed?
    Elaine Walsh
    Fossil from Chicago

  2. Nahid says:

    like to know when to use “The” and ” A or An” in the sentence.It is sometime confusing to put the right word in front of the word.
    could you please shed a light on this difference?

  3. Cindy Hopkins says:

    Someone said to me: I make me a folder.
    I know this is very wrong but is there a rule that goes with that?
    I would normally say, I make myself a folder.