Do you think your relationship with your wife has changed since you have kids?

I am not sure whether the tense in the bold part is used correct. I would use the present perfect (you have had kids).

  • have had is syntactically fine there, but native speakers would often go for the simpler form ...since having kids (more verbosely, ...since having had kids). Oct 6, 2018 at 15:38
  • @FumbleFinger Since having had kids is simpler than since you've had kids??
    – Lambie
    Oct 6, 2018 at 17:34
  • @Lambie: I said the simpler form ...since having kids. Oct 6, 2018 at 17:44

3 Answers 3


As you may know, "since" has two possible meanings:

  1. because of [something]
  2. dating from [some event]

"Since you have kids" implies the first meaning. "Since you've had kids" implies the second meaning.

Both are correct -- it all depends on which, precisely, you want to say:

Do you think your relationship [is different] because you have kids?

Do you think your relationship [has become different] dating from the time you had kids?

As FumbleFingers' comment mentions, there are other idiomatic ways to phrase the question, which are just variations on the second option.

Has your relationship changed since having kids?

Has your relationship changed since having had kids?


Present perfect (since you have had kids) is apt there, but a good many native speakers would not use it, and would say ...now that you have kids or ...since you have kids taking since in its causative sense, not as a temporal.

  • People say things many ways in English. It is perfectly natural for a person to say: Now that you've had kids, [etc.] or Since you've had kids. Many native speakers would say that.
    – Lambie
    Oct 6, 2018 at 16:42

For me, the most natural sounding ways to say this are:
Since you've had kids
Since you've passed the bar exam
Since you've seen the evidence

Question: Do you think your relationship with your wife has changed since you have kids?

Comment: Strictly speaking, as written, since there would have to be because in order to be grammatical.

But native speakers generally would use contracted forms here in English.

You don't go out since you have kids. has to mean because. **You don't go out since you've had kids". the meaning is obvious. A point in time.

In speaking, for me, "I've [past participle]" with since is more natural as a time indicator. Not as natural but also grammatical is: since having kids. I would write that more than I would tend to say. Or I would use it to tell a story (verbally or in writing).

"Look, since [because] you committed the crime, you have to pay the time."

That is how I tend to use since for because. It can only mean because there.

"Do you think your relationship with your wife has changed since [because] you have kids?" I would not use that to mean "because". I would say "because or since you've had kids". With the verb have had.

  • I'd have to disagree with your "because|since" prescription. Native speakers use since to introduce a clause expressing a reason or cause all the time.
    – TimR
    Oct 7, 2018 at 1:09
  • I'm referring to your "Strictly speaking ... [the word] "since" there would have to be "because" in order to be grammatical". [my quotes]
    – TimR
    Oct 7, 2018 at 14:23
  • I thought you were saying that the word "since" would have to be changed to "because". I misunderstood the word be. But the site won't allow me to remove the downvote unless you make some edit.
    – TimR
    Oct 7, 2018 at 14:35
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Actually, you can, it is just tricky. I removed one the other day. Just keep playing with it. It will return to zero.
    – Lambie
    Oct 7, 2018 at 14:41

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