In the following sentence:

I have known her since her birth.

This is the correct sentence. However, I also came up with the following sentence:

I have known her from her birth.

However, I wonder whether the sentence that uses from is valid here, and if so, is there any difference between from and since, to express the origin of time in the present perfect?

1 Answer 1


You could use either from or since in the present perfect.

In other tenses, from requires a start and end time point. In the present perfect, it is implied that the current time is the end point.

In fact, you can even drop the possessive pronoun most of the time because a listener will probably know the relative ages of the speaker and subject of the sentence from context.

I have known her from birth.

Which birth is being talked about changes if an older person is talking about a younger person or vice versa, (or if they're both salt the same same age, for that matter).

But it's automatically understood whose birth is being used for reference because of temporal logic (ie. if the speaker is older than the subject, then we know the subject's birth is being referenced).

  • Thanks for the answer. PS: Is "since" used only for being temporal? Can I say "I will come since my house."? (spatial)
    – Blaszard
    Jan 1, 2019 at 13:52
  • @Blas "Since" can also be used as a conditional: "Since I can't swim, I don't go near pools." I believe the conditional and temporal uses are the only way that "since" can be used.
    – Rykara
    Jan 1, 2019 at 22:06
  • Ah yes I know. I meant the use as a proposition, sorry for the confusion.
    – Blaszard
    Jan 1, 2019 at 22:43

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