I have a question about a phrase that comes after "since" when you use present perfect tense.

When you joined a local sports club and got to know someone years ago, and neither you nor that person belongs to the club now but you see each other sometimes, can you say this sentence?

I have known her since we were in the club.

I am not sure if this sentence is appropriate because I suspect that something describing a point in time has to come after "since" (like "since I joined the club"), not a condition that was present over a period of time (like "since we were in the club").

3 Answers 3


As an American, this sentence is fine if that event (being in the club) is no longer ongoing. For example, you can say you can say "I have known her since we were in primary school" as long as you are no longer in primary school, even though the event (being in primary school) happened over a period of time, not a single point.

Bonus Information

If the event that you list here is ongoing, it changes the meaning of the word since to be "because." For example, the sentence "I know her since we are in the club together." means that you know each other because you participate in the same club.


It's not quite appropriate, not for the reason you think but because in the club is used as a British slang expression for pregnant!

However, you can perfectly well say something like "I've known her since we both belonged to the tennis club" - or "used to belong".

  • Fascinating! That's a piece of British slang I haven't heard of before! How do students typically refer to activities they participate in? In the US, you might here a student say "oh yeah, they talked about that at the club meeting" or "I have a club now" to talk about any sort of arts, sports, theater, politics, etc. student organizations.
    – Griffin
    Jul 2, 2021 at 12:14
  • @Griffin I didn't say you couldn't mention clubs, just that the particular expression 'in the club' is liable to raise a few giggles in the UK. Jul 2, 2021 at 12:20
  • @KateBunting: She might have been "in the club"=pregnant, but not we. Jul 2, 2021 at 12:52
  • @FumbleFingers They could both have been expecting at the same time! Jul 2, 2021 at 12:57
  • @Griffin, the longer form of the expression is "in the pudding club".
    – Peter
    Jul 2, 2021 at 13:55

OP's example usage is fine. But it's worth pointing out that there's an interesting ambiguity concerning since in the cited context...

1: I have known him since we were at university
2: I have seen him since we were at university

Pragmatically, we would normally assume since in #1 refers to when I started at university (probably that's when I first met him, so I knew him while we were students). But since in #2 refers to after I left university.

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