# It's been over 20 years since John has lived in that country

I've just come from a closed thread, without seeing a clear answer (since John has died). I don't know if I can discuss this question here.

1. It's been over 20 years since I've lived on that street*

means it's over 20 years since I left that street.

A better version of 1 is:

1. It's been over 20 years since I left that street.

1. I've known her since I've lived on this street.

means I still live on this street.

1 and 3 both contain "since + present perfect", but the structure of the two sentences are different, which leads to different interpretations of the two since clauses:

In 1, since clause refers to a completion, while in 2, the since clause refers to continuousness.

A better version of 3 is:

1. I've known her since I've been living on this street.

Do you think my understanding is correct?

*The original sentence is "It's been over 20 years since John has lived in that country". I rephrased the sentence.

• The structure and interpretation in the "since" clauses in both 1. and 3. seem the same to me. In both cases, there's a starting point: 1. "... John left that country", and 3. "I've lived on that street", which implies "I moved to that street". In both cases the clause after "since" is the starting point for the main clause. What do you see as the difference in structure and interpretation?
– gotube
Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 5:54
• In sentence 1, since John has lived in that country doesn't mean since John moved to that country. It can only mean since John left that country. In sentence 3, since I've lived on this street can only mean since I moved to this street, it doesn't mean since I left this street. Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 7:06
• It would be simpler to analyze if the sentences were as much the same as possible. Sentence 1 should be "It's been over 20 years since I've lived on that street." Then we'll be clear about what we're truly comparing
– gotube
Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 7:10
• The two since clauses have the same pattern, but the starting point is different. What makes this difference is the different structures of the two sentences. In sentence 1, the main clause is "it's been xxx years", which requires the readers to interpret the since clause to be a completed action or event. In sentence 3, the main clause is "I've known her", which requires the readers to interpret the since clause to be continuous. However, in sentence 3, another interpretation is not entirely impossible, in my opinion. It can mean I've known her since I lived on this street. Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 7:18
• I think I agree. Choice 1 actually sounds kind of bad to me and would be improved by using the simple past: It's been over 20 years since I lived on that street. I don't really think your alternative interpretation of comment 3 (using the simple past) is at all possible though. Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 3:18