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I suspect dialectal variation is involved concerning whether "has Vpp" is used properly with "since" in relation to durative and punctual predicates in the following. Note also that dialectal variation is not restricted to AmE/BrE difference; it could also involve internal differences within AmE or BrE.

It is over 20 years since John has died for his country.

It is over 20 years since John has lived in this country.

I've seen the following sentence in Practical English by Michael Swan:

I've known her since I’ve lived in this street.

If you reject the first two sentences, do you reject the third one? If not, could you explain the difference?

Previous threads do not deal with the variation in acceptability of present perfect in since-clauses.

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  • 1
    Please expand on your "wondering".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 9:22
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    Did you create these examples yourself? Please add your source and why you think either or both are right or wrong. P.S The title which is grammaticak has a different meaning to what you probably intended, "since" also means "because".
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 9:31
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    Adding the source to a sentence is good start, but you need to give the book's title. So, the first two sentences you made up?? You realise that the word order and word choice (over 20 years) in the two examples are quite different from the sentence you are quoting.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 9:58
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    You cannot invent sentences then finally admit that your sentences were based on one you saw, without quoting the source, then when you see a few downvotes remember to add the book's title and the book's author. This could have been a very interesting question but instead of explaining your dilemma you simply mention,:I am wondering if "has Vpp" is used properly with "since" in the following: No wonder Astralbee is peeved and refuses to address the third and ONLY grammatical sentence.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 15:09
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    "It's been over 20 years since John lived..".Would be an improvement.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 15:14

1 Answer 1

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"Since", in this context, means from a particular time in the past until a later time. A 'particular' time would be a fixed event that began the time period, not the period itself.

We only say someone 'has died' when referring to their current status (ie they are dead). The fixed event is when they died, or their death. So, in your first example, you need to remove the word 'has' for it to make sense.

"Living" in this country is not a fixed event, so in the second example, you need to refer to his beginning to live here.

It is over 20 years since John died for his country.

It is over 20 years since John began living in this country.

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  • Thank you. Just to make sure, do you think "It is over 20 years since John has lived in this country" is wrong?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 8:59
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    @Apollyon Yes, it is wrong, see my alternative suggestion. It is 20 years since he began living there.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 9:07
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    @Apollyon with "since + PPerfect" you need a fixed date or time: John has lived here since 2000 but with a total length of time, it's John has lived here for over 20 years
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 9:30
  • I've seen the following sentence in a British usage book: I've known her since I’ve lived in this street.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 9:57
  • Could you address the edit to my question?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Nov 1, 2021 at 10:59

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