I learned that present perfect is used with “since” when we talk about duration, something began in the past and continues to the present, with non continuous verbs, like:

I have known her since I was 5.

I don’t understand the following sentences, can somebody help me?

  1. He has met many people, since he came here
  2. I have done a lot, since we last spoke
  3. What have you eaten, since you got up this morning?

These are not non continuous verbs, are these sentences about duration?

2 Answers 2


The present perfect does describe action that continues up to the present moment, but that's not the only reason to use it. Here is a list of the most common reasons:

  • An action or situation that started in the past and continues in the present. I have lived in Bristol since 1984 (= and I still do.)
  • An action performed during a period that has not yet finished. She has been to the cinema twice this week (= and the week isn't over yet.)
  • A repeated action in an unspecified period between the past and now. We have visited Portugal several times.
  • An action that was completed in the very recent past, expressed by 'just'. I have just finished my work.
  • An action when the time is not important. He has read 'War and Peace'. (= the result of his reading is important)

All of your example sentences can be described as either, "actions/situations that started in the past and continue into the present", or, "actions performed during a period that is not yet finished", so the present perfect is appropriate.


There is no watertight compartmentalization in mixing of tenses, so long that doesn't flout our sense of propriety and grammatical decorum.

Cambridge Dictionary in English Grammar Today defines SINCE, among others, a cojunction and an adverb to refer to previous point in time.

While it deals ' SINCE AND TENSES ' , it goes on to note that when since introduces an action or event at a point of time in the past , we can use the past simple or present perfect after since and the present perfect in the main clause. These are the examples.

  • They have not received any junk mail 'since ' they moved house.

  • They have not received any junk mail ' since' they've moved house.

We shouldn't ever forget that grammar uses tenses to locate events in the scale of time, space and sequence. If we arrange the events mentally, the use of respective tenses could be viewed logical and sequential.

★ he has met many people ( he will be meeting many more)the outcome of his meeting is not yet known i.e. uncertain hence PRESENT PERFECT.

Only, ' he came ' , ' we spoke', and ' you got up ' are pegged in the past.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .