Choose correct option and explain why?

___ she was 18 years old, she entered the order of the Sister of Our Lady of Loreto, in India.

  1. When
  2. As
  3. Since
  4. Whether

Well, All we know that the "Whether" is unrelated but from the book perspective, "When" is correct option. I couldn't understand? why not "As"?

Additional info:

It was one of the Konkour questions.

Konkour (Persian: کنکور; from the French Concours), is a standardized test used as one of the means to gain admission to higher education in Iran.

enter image description here As you see, we don't have extra context for the question (not before and not after.), every question is independent.

  • 2
    Indeed. 2 and 3 are perfectly good if the context has already been set that we are talking about her leaving school, or entering an order, or starting a career. Because they give a reason, not a time, they would be odd as the first sentence of a piece.
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 29, 2018 at 19:40
  • 1
    If you use "as" or "since" you suggest that she entered the order because she was 18 years old.
    – David42
    Jan 29, 2018 at 20:36
  • 1
    I would add one other small, unrelated point. "the order of the Sister of Our Lady of Loreto" is more likely to be "Sisters". Most Christian orders are "Sisters" or "Brothers".
    – Sydney
    Jan 29, 2018 at 22:43
  • @ColinFine For As maybe but i don't think the option 3 is one of possible correct options because we have learned that after since we should use Present Perfect tense. but as you can see, the phrase "she entered..." not like this.
    – Ayub
    Jan 30, 2018 at 15:30
  • @kokabi: Since can also be used to specify a reason or justification, and in this use it can take a simple past. So number 3 (and indeed number 2) means Because she was 18 years old ...
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 30, 2018 at 22:41

2 Answers 2


as in its temporal sense relates to a coinciding event, something that happens at the same time as something else:

He took off his coat as he entered the room.

Temporal as is synonymous with while (but note, as he entered would be better paraphrased as while he was entering).

as in its causal sense refers to a condition that makes something possible, or to an explanation for something.

She was able to vote, as she was now 18 years old.

They took the car to the repair shop, as it was making a noise.

Causal as is synonymous with since.

  • 1
    +1 for the voting sentence – great example! I think as could work for the OP's sentence, too, with a slight modification: As she was 18 years old, she could finally enter the order of the Sister of Our Lady of Loreto.
    – J.R.
    Jan 29, 2018 at 22:22

I think the authors of the quiz book have a simple temporal meaning in mind. I don't think this is about causality, because something else would have prompted her to become a nun beside reaching a certain age (even if there is a precondition that one must be a certain age to join a certain order). Temporal "as" would really be paired with a continuous tense (or a continuous sense, like "As she approached adulthood, she began thinking about joining the order"). We don't need to confuse the OP with all the possible ways in which "as" and "since" might be shoehorned into this sentence.

So this is a simple "when", #1.

Since the OP specifically asked "why not as"—temporal "as" has a meaning of something happening concurrently. Whatever is attached to "as" would most often be describing a period of time, not a single instance. Here, there is a simple sense of having reached 18 years and then entering the order. Simple "when...., she ....".

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