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Here is a structure I don't really master:

1. It's a long time since I went to the hairdresser's

2. It's been a long time since I went to the hairdresser's

3. It's a long time since I've been to the hairdresser's

4. It's been a long time since I've been to the hairdresser's

Are they all correct? If yes, how do I know which one to use? Thanks!
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Comments  (Page 3) 
GoodmanHi MrP,

I see it differently. Maybe I am worng but this is my logic.

A- We are going to Florida thsi summer, would you care to join us?

B -It's been a long time (undetermined frame of time) since I had last visited DisneyWorld (This visit took place before "the long time"), I think I would like that!

In this context, do you see the sentence structured improperly?

Thanks,

I'd say "It's been a long time since I last visited Disney World".
I need an explanation, sorry, folks... [F] [F] [F]

How can we justify the use of the present perfect after "since"? Because all these examples with "since I've etc..." sound quite right to me, but I can't grasp them reasonibly/grammatically.

Thanks!
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Goodman
A- We are going to Florida thsi summer, would you care to join us?

B -It's been a long time (undetermined frame of time) since I had last visited DisneyWorld (This visit took place before "the long time"), I think I would like that!

In this context, do you see the sentence structured improperly?

Thanks,

Hello Goodman

Yes, it still seems odd to me! The part of the past that is comprehended within the present perfect is still "current", so to speak, and so doesn't justify the past perfect; the simple past is enough to express "the visit took took place before the long time".

Sorry!

MrP
Wistiti2
I need an explanation, sorry, folks... [F] [F] [F]

How can we justify the use of the present perfect after "since"? Because all these examples with "since I've etc..." sound quite right to me, but I can't grasp them reasonibly/grammatically.

Thanks!

I think we have to fall back on the "past connected to the present" sense of the present perfect:

1. It's a long time since I ate a chocolate biscuit.

– the speaker expresses no connection to the present.

2. It's a long time since I've eaten a chocolate biscuit.

– the present perfect either a) expresses a literal connection to the present, e.g. perhaps the speaker is eating a chocolate biscuit, in which case the biscuit-eating is the latest in a series of biscuit-eatings; or b) gives past biscuit-eating a present dimension, for vividness.

(That said, it may sound different to AmE ears!)

MrP
Thanks MrP,

As I said in my past thread, I won't express the sentence with the structure in discussion. I just thought I asked. Sometimes, I understand certain context is not quiet right but I can't explain it. With a simple past tense, it sounded more natural! Cheer!
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Thanks to all! Emotion: smile

Would it change anything if I wrote

"It's /it's been ten years since I saw/have seen him"?
I'd personally say "It has been 10 years since I last saw him"

The "It's a long time since I (past simple) is a British expression that I (a Canadian) don't use.

If this is too confusing stick with:

I haven't seen him for 10 years
or
I haven't seen him since 1995.
English grammar is descriptive, not prescriptive. I teach English as a second language and I came across this question on a preparation test for the PET. As a native English speaker, I thought "it's a long time since I've been to the hairdresser's..." sounded just as natural as "it's a long time since i went..." (in fact, as someone else mentioned, I would have said, "it's BEEN a long time since..." because "it's a long time since" sounds odd to me...")

According to the online PET test, there is only one correct answer, but I don't agree. If it sounds natural to most native English speakers, it has already been incorporated into the language as a "correct" or accepted grammatical form.
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It's a long time since i went to the hairdresser