In terms of academic achievements, he is within the top one percent of students since the establishment of this department.

  • I can't succinctly explain exactly why, but it seems to me that when you use adverbial since [some point in past time] like this, the main verb should be Present Perfect - thus, it's I have been in the top one percent of students since I started in this school (not I am in the top...). Personally, I don't like since being used in a true Past Tense context, so I was in the top one percent since I joined the class doesn't work for me, regardless of whether I'm still in the class at time of utterance. Jul 29, 2021 at 14:11
  • It sounds awkward to me. I can't quite work out why though! I'd probably say something like say something like "...he's within in the top 1% of all students in the history of this department." Jul 29, 2021 at 14:24

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can use "since" to mean from a specific point in time. For example, "I have felt ill since I ate that sushi". So, from an English grammar point of view, your example is fine. It helps establish that the person is not just in the top 1% of current students, but of all students, ever.

  • I agree, but I think the sentence would be a little easier to understand if it was " .. top one percent of all students since ...".
    – Peter
    Jul 29, 2021 at 12:58

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