Since + past simple, or since + present perfect ?

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Hi there,

Here is a sentence I don't get it. "It has been so long since I have seen my mother." In this sentence, since is followed by present perfect tense.

I used to think that SINCE should be follow by a certain point of time in the past, as in "I have been a teacher since 1990" or "He has been single since his wife left him."

Is there any nother usage of SINCE in the first sentence? What does the sentence mean, by " present perfect tense, since + present perfect tense" ?

More specifically, which of the following sentence is correct?

A: "How long has it been since you left home?"

B: "How long has it been since you have left home?"

Many thanks.Emotion: wink
Junior Member75
aleileiHere is a sentence I don't get it. "It has been so long since I have seen my mother." In this sentence, since is followed by present perfect tense.
Hi aleilei;

It's a very interesting observation. I naturally use certain verbs in the present perfect in "since" clauses if it refers to a general recurring activity in the past, rather than a specific once-off event:

It's been a while since I have eaten ice cream.
......... since I have written.
.......... since I have been to the ballet.

The "time point" refers to the last time that this recurring event happened.

In expressions that designate a specific event, the simple past has to be used:

It's been a while since I heard Beethoven's Symphony #5.
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aleileiMore specifically, which of the following sentence is correct?
A: "How long has it been since you left home?"
B: "How long has it been since you have left home?"The event of leaving (your) home is a definite one (You left home how long ago?), so A is the correct one.

Contrast this with the indefinite idea of seeing a good movie:

How long has it been since you've seen a good movie?
(You have not seen a good movie for how long?)

Or, in your example: I have not seen my mother for so long.

It's the difference between not having done something for some time (=since + pres. perf.) and having done something some amount of time ago (=since + past).

See since.

CJ

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Thank you, AlpheccaStars and CalifJim. I think I got it, quite clearly.Emotion: smile
Anonymous:
Well it is correct because the present perfect is considered as a point of time that happened in the past so basically it is correct besides the meaning is correct as well and it is very obvious ... The present perfect always describes experiences in life to talk about what have been done in a period of time ... So we could possibly say that the present perfect could be followed by the present perfect . I hope you'd get it Emotion: big smile and the most important point is that, the present perfect is used with since when the actions have not finished yet, and in this sentence the speaker means that he hasn't seen his mother for a long time and he hasn't seen her yet ... (the action of not seeing his mother is still continuing) !
I can't remember the last time I [have] had a drink.

The action is still continuing. Emotion: beer Emotion: drunk
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