Which one of these sentence is grammatically correct ?

  • I had been listening to his songs since childhood

  • I have been listening to his songs since childhood

  • This is basic grammar. Try going through some basic resources to understand the usage of these type of sentences, and do come back if you still have doubts. We'll be happy to help you!
    – Varun Nair
    Apr 1, 2019 at 9:49
  • 1
    @VarunNair: The general reference close reason is intended only for cases where the specific word or phrase is easily looked up, directly, in an indexed reference. It doesn't fit well for cases where a larger concept, or set of concepts, is needed, since that kind of conceptual explanation is exactly what we're here for. Such a question could be Too Broad, but this doesn't seem to be. Apr 2, 2019 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


They can both be correct. It depends on the context. Here is how:

I had been listening to his songs since childhood

  • ..when he released the album "The Wind", which quickly became my favorite.

  • ..when he changed his style, which was hard for me to understand.

  • ..when I met him, and I didn't know what to say.

"Had been" is used to express the past tense when something else happens. With "had been", since needs to have a finish, or end-point. Since you start the sentence with "I", you need to finish the thought with how it affects you.

I have been listening to his songs since childhood

  • and I think he is a genius.
  • and he is still my favorite.
  • but I no longer think he is the best.
  • although I prefer other artists now.
  • yet I still cannot understand them.

"Have been" is also used to express the past tense, but where the context is now. "Since" does not require closure if the conclusion of "since" is "now, at this moment". But if you add another part to the sentence, like the above examples, so you would finish the sentence with your position now.

Just for completeness, there is another important version of the past tense, the "simple past":

  • I listened to his songs in my childhood.
  • I listened to his songs as a child.

This does not require any followup. The choice depends on the context where you are placing the idea.

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