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Since

Since

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Since


Hello! In this lesson, we will learn to use the word "since". The word "since" can serve many different grammatical functions in a sentence. It can work as a preposition, an adverb, and a conjunction. In this lesson, we will concentrate on its two most common usages.
The most common meaning of the word "since is between a particular past time continuously until the present or (translate the words since with this meaning). When we use the word "since" with this meaning, we usually use the present perfect tense or the present perfect continuous tense, which gives us a time frame which spans a time from the past to and including the present. For example, using the present perfect tense, we can say "Jennifer and David have lived in their neighborhood since August." or "The candy store has been on this corner since 1980.". Using the present perfect continuous tense, we could say "David has been working in the yard since early this morning." or "Jennifer has been riding her bike since 2:00.". We also use the word since with the negative to indicate a tine during which something has not occurred. For example, using the present perfect tense with a negative, we could say "Jennifer has not seen her cousin since September." or "David has not had much free time since January.".
The word "since" is also used to mean because. When we use the word "since" to mean because, we do not need to use the present perfect or the present perfect continuous tense, but we can use these tenses if the situation calls for them. For example, we could say "Jennifer ordered a cup of coffee, since she does not like tea." or "Jennifer has ordered a cup of coffee, since she does not like tea.". We could also say "Jennifer ordered coffee, because she does not like tea." or "Jennifer has ordered coffee, because she does not like tea.". We see that this usage of the word "since" is different from the time-dependent usage of "since" with the meaning shown earlier. Here are some more examples of the word "since" with its meaning of because:
"David slept late this morning, since he worked late last night."
"Jennifer is baking a chocolate cake, since David likes her chocolate cake."
Jennifer has been reading in the house all day, since it is raining outside."
"We could change the order of the clauses, putting the "since"-clause first:

"Since David worked late last night, he slept late this morning."
"Since David likes Jennifer's chocolate cake, she is baking one."
"Since it is raining outside, Jennifer has been reading in the house all day."

Now that we have an idea of how to use the word "since", let us listen to a dialog. In this scenario, Jennifer finds David reading his work documents in the living room in the middle of the night.

Jennifer: You aren't sleeping! How long have you been sitting here?
David: I have been sitting here since about 1:00.
Jennifer: Are you working?
David: Yes, I have been working since about 1:30.
Jennifer: Why are you working in the middle of the night?
David: Since I can't sleep, I decided to work.

When Jennifer sees that David is working on documents for his job in the middle of the night, she says "You aren't sleeping! How long have you been sitting here?". David answers, using the word "since" with its time-dependent meaning. He says "I have been sitting here since about 1:00.". This statement means that he started sitting there at about 1:00, and he is still sitting there.
Jennifer asks "Are you working?". David answers, using the time-dependent word "since". He answers "Yes, I have been working since about 1:30.". This statement means that he started working at about 1:30, and he is still working.
When Jennifer asks David why he is working in the middle of the night, he answers using the word "since" as it is used to mean because. He answers "Since I can't sleep, I decided to work.". He could have juxtaposed the clauses and said "I decided to work, since I can't sleep.". He could have said "Because I can't sleep, I decided to work.", or "I decided to work because I can't sleep.".
Now that we have heard the dialog and we know how the word "since" is used in two different ways, let us listen to the dialog again. Listen for the two different usages of the word "since.".
Jennifer: You aren't sleeping! How long have you been sitting here?
David: I have been sitting here since about 1:00.
Jennifer: Are you working?
David: Yes, I have been working since about 1:30.
Jennifer: Why are you working in the middle of the night?
David: Since I can't sleep, I decided to work.

Great! This great little word will add fluency and sophistication to your English. "Since your English is good, speak English often.".