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Please check the sentence and let me know is it correct or not? My question is that "can we use since to tell the complete duration of time as well in this way?"

I have been doing it since 4:40 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

This is not idiomatic.

Since always refers to a timespan extending from the named time to the current Reference Time (RT)—the time your sentence is talking about.

In your example, the main verb is in the present perfect, so RT is the present, now. You would use since only if the endpoint of the timespan is now, which need not (and indeed should not) be further specified:

I am very tired. I have been doing X since 4:40 pm.

If you used a past perfect here, the timespan would extend up to the RT you are talking about, and again would not be further specified:

I was very tired. I had been doing X since 4:40 pm.

If RT is present (now) and the endpoint of the timespan is in the past, you should use a simple past form, and the timespan should be defined using from ... to/until:

I am very tired. I did X from 4:40 pm to 7 pm (and then did something else).

If RT is past and the endpoint is some point before RT, you should use a past perfect, and again the timespan should be defined using from ... to/until:

I was very tired. I had done X from 4:40 pm until 7 pm (and had then done something else).

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Great, thanks I appreciate it a lot. –  user62015 Apr 5 at 16:31

No, I have been doing it from 4:40 PM to 7:00 PM is the correct sentences.

Since can be used to indicate the beginning of an activity.

  • We have produced ice cream since 1989.
  • We have been living here since the beginning of the war.
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Thanks you so much, it was helpful. –  user62015 Apr 5 at 16:33
    
We have produced ice cream since 1989 'OR' We heve been producing ice cream since 1989 ? –  IT ppl Apr 6 at 4:42
    
"I have been doing it from 4:40pm to 7:00pm" isn't really something you'd ever say. Since you know it ended at 7pm, it's in the past now, so you'd much more likely say "I did it from 4:40pm to 7:00pm" or "I did it from 4:40pm until 7:00pm." –  Jefromi Apr 6 at 5:44

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