Mom said,

I'm going back to work at the hospital tonight for the first time since Charles was born.

Is this a correct sentence? I heard of it on a TV program. I think "since" is used with present perfect tense. But here, it's not the present perfect. So does it work? If it does, can I apply the princal to other sentences with the same tense, the future tense?

1 Answer 1


The sentence is correct. It means that the speaker has not worked at the hospital after Charles was born, but will do so tonight.

The word since here means after a past time:

American Heritage Dictionary since
conjunction 1. During the period subsequent to the time when:
He hasn't been home since he graduated.

The phrase Charles was born means the time when Charles was born, and since Charles was born means beginning at that time, and continuing up to now.

  • 1
    What makes the sentence in question correct is the phrase "for the first time" , right? Without it, does the sentence still make sense?
    – Stephen
    Jan 30, 2022 at 14:19
  • 1
    That's right. She could have said "I have been on maternity leave since Charles was born", but with the future tense you need for the first time or its equivalent. Jan 30, 2022 at 15:06

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