A : How are you feeling ?

B : I have been feeling better since ............

a) the doctor has come b) the doctor will come c) the doctor had come d) the doctor came

So which option is right and why?



I have been feeling better is a statement about your present state; the present perfect construction indicates that that state started in the past. The since clause designates the start of that state, the point in time at which it began. In this case it began with an event, the doctor's coming, which was completed in the past.

  • That cannot be expressed with a), the present perfect, the doctor has come, because that, again, designates a present state.
  • It cannot be expressed with b), the future, the doctor will come, because that designates an event which has not happened yet.
  • It cannot be expressed with c), the past perfect, the doctor had come, because that designates a past state which came after the doctor's coming.

It is properly expressed with the simple past form, answer d):

I have been feeling better since the doctor came.

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  • Thanks so much..I got it but I want to make sure " I have been feeling better since the doctor has come " doesn't make any sense .right? or can we say " I have been feeling better AFTER the doctor has come" ? – Mrt Nov 4 '14 at 0:48
  • @Murat since the doctor has come will be understood, but it is not idiomatic. We don't often use after with present-tense statements, only with past (I felt better after the doctor came) and future (I will feel better after the doctor comes). Perfects with these, again, are understood but are not idiomatic. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 4 '14 at 1:01
  • @Murat Neither of those versions is proper. You would use the version in StoneyB's block quote. Using "after" in this particular sentence is difficult. After refers to a change that occurs in at a particular point in time. Since means that whatever changed is ongoing. "I started feeling better after the doctor came." – Jason Patterson Nov 4 '14 at 1:03

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