I have to do this task, choose which sentences could be completed with an adverbial expression and which are ungrammatical when an adverbial expression is added. What do you think, is it possible to use the present simple with "since"? For example, I have this sentence:

Deputy chief constable fights against crime since he was first appointed.

Is it grammatical to put "since" here?


Usually, we don't use "since" in the simple past. However, there are a few specific cases in which we can use it as follows:

1- We can use it as a time adverb such as it's long/a long time since I met him, it's two weeks since I joined the bank, etc.

2- We can also use it as a conjunction where it means "because" such as since you don't have money, I'll not take you to the market, you should take Mr Adam's permission since he is our General Manager.

As for the sentence "Deputy chief constable fights against crime since he was first appointed", I don't think this is acceptable although some people contend that when you have been doing an activity regularly for a long time, you can use since in the present simple for this activity. I don't think it's valid justification.As a matter of fact, the right sentence is "Deputy chief constable has been fighting against crime since he was first appointed".

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    The original "sentence" in the OP's version would be okay as a newspaper headline. – J.R. Oct 7 '19 at 15:16

To my ear, present perfect sounds more natural

Deputy chief constable has fought against crime since he was first appointed.

Past simple is used for actions that have already happened, but it sounds like here you would like to say the chief is still fighting crime.

Present simple would be used for something happening now or happens regularly. A time expression here would typically be used to denote the regularity

Deputy chief constable fights against crime every second Tuesday since he was first appointed.

Note (I can't leave this as a comment to Nils' answer): "since" can mean either because of or from some time. In this context, it is clear that the temporal sense is being used. The same contextual interpretation is required regardless of it's position in the sentence. Using 'ever since' limits the meaning to a temporal one, but if the context is clear or no emphasis is needed, "ever" can be omitted.

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When you use since like that, it make it sounds like "He is doing X because he is doing Y"

You should either go with :

The deputy chief constable have been fighting against crime daily ever since he was first appointed.


Since Garry was first appointed as Deputy chief constable, he has been in charge of fighting crime.

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    This is nice. What about The dep. chief constable fights against crime *ever since he was appointed*? – Maulik V Oct 11 '14 at 8:54
  • Thanks you, Nils Munch, but I'm second Maulik V.You used perfect tense in both examples, is it possible to keep "since" in present simple structure? – DaBu Oct 11 '14 at 9:28

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