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Hi, I,'m a teacher of english from beijing, china. I ran across two difficult sentences and I need your help. The first one is " Mr.Smith is in good health now for it is quite a long time since he smoked." I'm not so sure about the meaning of it, esp. the use of since here. does it mean "he quit smoking long ago and he hasn't been somking since then, so he is in good health." ? Please explain and offer more examples of the use of since like this. Another sentence is "In such dry weather, the flowers wil have to be watered if they are to survive." how to explain the use of " be to" here? Could you paraphrase it for me ? Many thanks!
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I have doubts about the sentence regarding Mr. Smith. In my humble opinion, it should go like this:

Mr. Smith is in good health now for it is quite a long time since he *stopped ***.

In this case, "since" means "continuously from or starting from the time when". Your suspect regarding the meaning seems correct to me. More examples:

I haven't seen him since we finished high-school.
(we finished high-school and I have not seen him from that time)

Since we last met, terrible things have happened.
John and Mary have been married since 1995.

On the other hand...

> In such dry weather, the flowers wil have to be watered if they are to survive.

...could be re-written like this:

In such dry weather, the flowers will have to be watered if they are [supposed] to survive.

The structure "be to" imples "be supposed/expected to":

A: Tom's on his way.
B: What? He was to come in the evening!

Hope this helps! Emotion: smile
Thanks! Your explanations are so timely ande helpful. Actually, I just registered in this forum. I hope we meet each other soon on this site. I really like it here. Got to go, so see you.
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Hi
1
In your sentence, the word ‘since’ is a conjunction. The sentence means
During or in the time after the man quit smoking, his health became good.

Maybe this example is useful.
What have you been doing since the miserable Winter of 1982?
I quit smoking, and since then, I’ve been well.
2
"In such dry weather, the flowers will have to be watered if they are to survive."
"In such dry weather, the flowers must be watered if they are to survive."

The modal verb unit ‘will have to’ means the same as ‘must’ but it has the quality of Conditional obligation. The same sentence can be written another way.

You have got to water those flowers if they are going to survive in such dry weather.
You must water those flowers to help them survive in such dry weather.

I got my information from
ENGLISH PAGE - Modal Verb Tutorial
http://www.englishpage.com/modals/modalintro.html
we r running the business from 12 years

is correct?
Hi Anon,
No, it's not correct. First, learners should avoid using "lazy" English like "dunno" for don't know and "ur" for your are etc. if he wants to improve his English.
Secondly, your sentence should read "We have been running our business for 12 years".
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
How can one use 'since'? Is this sentence correct:
The O2 Wireless Festival first took place in 2005 in and is being held annually, since?
If it is, I would also like to be sure about the punctuation before since.