Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Since When?

One of the ladies running for the position of baranggay kagawad in my community sent us a flyer with a little error I can blog about. Her flyer said, "I am your neighbor since 1966." This sentence contains a small error which is often neglected now, which is the verb that is attached to the word since.

My neighbor who sent the flyer wanted to say that she had been living in my community from 1966 to the present. Now, one of the meanings of the word since is "from the past, or a certain point in the past, to the present." In other words, it's an expression we can use to talk about the movement of time from one point up to today. If you want to use since in this way, you use the perfect from of the verb: "I have been your neighbor since 1966."

Why do we use the perfect tense here? One of the things that the perfect tense of the verb shows is an action that was completed in the past which is moving on to the present. The word since does something similar. If you say "I have been your neighbor since 1966," you're saying that you started living in a place in 1966 and you're still living here.

Ever since I was a child, I have always loved reading. That has led me to my love for the English language.

Liza left a question for me. Thanks, Liza, give me a few days to answer it.

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