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I've never thought it's grammatically incorrect to use "have been (verb)ing since this year", but my Grammarly extension keeps claiming that I have to remove 'since' in that kind of sentence structure.

Why can't I use 'since' in this situation when I can replace 'this year' to any temporal terms such as '2020' or 'last Tuesday'? I suspected that it's just an artifact of Grammarly, but I actually couldn't find any example on the Internet that uses 'have been (verb)ing since this year'.

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'Since' can only be used (formally) when starting at a point in the past, that discounts the present.

You can say "I've been verbing since last Tuesday" or "I've been verbing since 1999", because those are both solidly in the past. However, "I've been verbing since 2020" is currently incorrect, as 2020 includes the present moment.

You can, however, say "I've been verbing since the beginning of this year" or "I've been verbing since the beginning of 2020". You could also say "I've been verbing since this spring" as it's no longer spring.

Informally, people sometimes do use since to refer to times that start in "the present." This is what Grammarly is catching on, though.

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  • In my case, Grammarly claimed that I can't use 'since' for 'this summer'. I guess Grammarly might have seen 'this summer' as the present moment (since it's July)... Thanks :) Jul 30, 2020 at 1:30

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