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Hi,

"Since you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else."
Is it fine if I replace 'since' with the following expressions?
For example:
1.As you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else.
2.Now that you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else.
3.Given that you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else.

Do they all mean the same above?

Can we use the expressions in the past?
For example:
Since/As/Now that/Given that he needed your help, you should have helped him.
Thanks very much.
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Comments  
As is fine, Now suggests that there were able to but now aren't, and Given isn't normally used with the 2nd person. I can't think of a reason, it just seems rather odd to me (I'm British).

In the last sentence 'Now that' doesn't work, the others do.
Hi Jarry1,

Thank you very much for your help.

Do you mean all the three expressions since, as and given that mean the same in the following sentence or is there subtle difference? And do you mean 'now that' can't be used in the past?

"Since/As//Given that he needed your help, you should have helped him."

Thanks very much.
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since, as, and given that are all possible, in both present and past, with the same meaning. Not now that.
CJ
Hi CJ,
Many thanks for your answer.
I have two more questions as follows:

1.We can't use 'now that' in the past, right?

2."Now that Dave has arrived, we can begin."

"Since/As/Given that Dave has arrived, we can begin."

What is the difference in meaning between 'now that' and 'since' here?

Thank you very much.
1.We can't use 'now that' in the past, right?
Wrong. now can mean at this point in the story.
Now that Henry had finished his training, he was ready to begin his career.
Now that Lucy knew the truth, she felt better about what had happened.
Now that the scientists understood the cause of the malfunction, they were able to repair the apparatus very quickly.

2."Now that Dave has arrived, we can begin."

"Since/As/Given that Dave has arrived, we can begin."

What is the difference in meaning between 'now that' and 'since' here?
I don't sense much difference in this example, but now that usually gives a sense of completion in time much more strongly than the others, which suggest only cause.
a) Since Bill knows how to speak English better than anyone else, he should be the translator. = He should do it because he knows how ...
b) Now that Bill knows how to speak English better than anyone else, he should be the translator. = He should do it because he has now (finally) learned (over time) to do it better ...
In a), Bill may have known how to speak English better than others for quite some time. It is irrelevant when he learned how to do this.

In b), Bill didn't know how to do it better until now. He has just recently become better than others. Now he knows how to do it better.
CJ
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Anonymous2.Now that you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else.
In view of my post above, let's go over this example once again.
The reason you can't use now that in this pattern is that now that suggests an accomplishment. It makes no sense to think of an inability as an accomplishment. No one tries to be unable to answer, for example!
Generally speaking, now that suggests that the situation following represents success (possibly after trying).
So you can have: Now that you are able to answer, ... = Now that you have succeeded in becoming able to answer, ...
But you can't have: Now that you are unable to answer, ... (It's anomalous to suggest that anyone has succeeded in becoming unable to answer.)

Similarly, you cannot have: Now that I hope Mark will win, ... or Now that you don't know anything about it, ... or Now that he has no opinion on the subject, ...

because hoping, not knowing, and not having an opinion are not accomplishments.
CJ
Hi CJ,

I really appreciate your very helpful reply. I have some more questions here:

1.Can 'given that' be used with the 1st preson? For example:

"Given that I'm free now, I can help you with your homework."

2.Doesn't 'now that' work in the sentence here because 'he needed your help' is not an accomplishment?
"Now that he needed your help, you should have helped him."

3.Is there any difference between 'since' and 'seeing that' here?

"Seeing that/Since you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else."

Thank you very much.
1.Can 'given that' be used with the 1st preson? Yes. For example:
"Given that I'm free now, I can help you with your homework." Fine.

2.Doesn't 'now that' fail to work in the sentence here because 'he needed your help' is not an accomplishment? Yes, that's true.
"Now that he needed your help, you should have helped him." Incorrect, as you say.

3.Is there any difference between 'since' and 'seeing that' here? No, except the obvious. (They are different words. Emotion: smile )

"Seeing that/Since you are unable to answer, perhaps we should ask someone else."
CJ
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