1

This is an exercise from my English book:

You three boys look very guilty! What did you do / have you done / have you been doing since I left / have left?

I chose have you been doing and have left. But the correct answer for the second option is left. Why is that? I thought past perfect was used after since.

0
  1. What have you been doing since I left?
  2. What did you do after I left?
  3. What have you done since I left?

are all correct and natural, in my opinion. "had left" would seem awkward and unnatural to me in any of the three examples above. In fact i can't think of a natural sentence using "since I had left" to indicate a point in time.

Since i had left, i didn't hear the speech.

is valid, but in that case "since" means "because" and does not specify a point in time.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary's article on "since"

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.

...

When since introduces a state in the past that is still continuing in the present, we use a present perfect form of the verb after since and a present perfect form of the verb in the main clause:

"Since I’ve been back at work, I’ve been feeling great."

(The Cambridge article includes additional examples, which I did not copy here.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.