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"I haven't seen him since I've been in London".

What does this sentence above mean?

Does it mean

I haven't seen him since I moved to London

or

I haven't seen him since I left London?

Thank you.

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    Not the second option: the original would be "since I was in London." It can also mean "I haven't seen him because I've been in London." Dec 29, 2021 at 11:23
  • "since I've been in London" does not only mean "since I moved to London". It could mean "since I arrived in London for a vacation or short stay". Dec 29, 2021 at 11:38
  • If it could mean "since I arrived in London for a vacation or short stay", I think I'm out of London now. So, my second explanation could be right.
    – Stephen
    Dec 29, 2021 at 12:19
  • If I arrived in London at 8 AM today, and it is now 12:30 PM, I could grammatically say "I have not seen a red bus since I have been in London". Dec 29, 2021 at 12:33
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    That would be inferred from the context, which isn't given. The statement, as you say, is ambiguous. Dec 29, 2021 at 13:37

2 Answers 2

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Usually, this would be the former ( "I haven't seen him since I moved to London" ).

The "I have been" part implies the speaker is still in London (or at least, still living there) and so the person has not been seen since this started, I.E. since they moved to London.

If the speaker wanted to say "since I left London" then they would be more likely to have said this, or "... since I went to London" (implying that the event completed in the past)

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Your sentence does not actually specify, and could be either. It doesn't specify a lot of things, actually. We could expand this sentence to read like this:

There was a time I was in London. I am not specifying whether I lived there, or was just visiting. I am not saying whether I was there for a short time, or a long time. I am not saying I left recently, or a long time ago.

I saw him at some point when I was in London. I am not saying whether I saw him before London, or if I saw him once or more than once.

I haven't seen him at any point after the time I was in London.

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  • Your answer sounds like since I left London. But you also say it could be either. So, what is exactly your position?
    – Stephen
    Jan 14, 2022 at 9:13

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