Is present perfect possible in "ever since [present perfect]"? I guess my question wasn't clear.

It's been a long time since I've read an interesting book.

Isn't this usually

It's been a long time since I read an interesting book.

Although this one doesn't use "ever since," I think it means something similar:

Upon close inspection [I think this phrase could mean something like "ever since"], I found that it was wrong. I have made changes so please update it accordingly.

I'm kind of confused because I thought you were supposed to use past tense with ever since and present perfect in the clause that follows it:

"I always thought it was wrong, but ever since I read it, I've been more confused."

But then, can you use past tense with past tense?

Ever since I did that, it stopped bothering me.

  • 1
    I noticed your edits and adjusted my answer. Hopefully I understood what you are asking this time.
    – Walter
    May 23, 2013 at 15:16

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is possible to use "ever since" with the present perfect. "Ever since" links two events, a cause event and something that is true from that point in time onward. This is actually ideal for the present perfect tense because one of the uses of the present perfect tense is to indicate that something which began in the past is still relevant in the present. An example of this use is your sentence:

"I always thought it was wrong, but ever since I read it, I've been more confused."

Using the present perfect with "ever since" shows that the speaker has been and is still confused by something which they read in the past.

With the past simple tense, as in your last sentence, it would be more appropriate to use "once" instead of "ever since". This is because "once" links a cause event with something that changed, but does not necessarily link to the present.

Once I did that, it stopped bothering me.

This sentence shows that the speaker was not bothered by "it" as soon as they did "that". It however gives not indication of whether this continues to be true in the present.

I saw your edit, if I understand right you meant to ask if it is possible to use "ever since" and present perfect without past simple, which would look something like:

"ever since" + present perfect + present

Ever since I have been pregnant I feel sick each morning.

The answer is no, this is not natural English. This structure may be encountered in informal English, but it is more natural to have the structure:

"ever since" + past simple + present perfect

Ever since I got pregnant I have felt sick each morning.


The short answer to this is that using 'since' with the present perfect as you describe it is, at least sometimes, a fossilised mistake.

It used to be the case that you were ticked off if you used the present perfect with 'since' if the word referred to a point in the finished past.

What's happened is that the grammar authorities had heard the relevant error so often that they decided at some stage it was fine (presumably on the basis that their job is descriptive rather than prescriptive). Sometimes it's still wrong, though. Simply because it still just sounds off to too many people.

Here's an example of when it's always been okay: "The dog hasn't got out of his basket since he's been ill." (He's still ill.)

Here's an example of one where it used to be wrong and is no longer (at least to some): "Ever since she's taken the pledge, she hasn't drunk a drop." (This is at best grammatically inconsistent, but if you're one of the modern grammarians, you're forced to say it's fine because it's very common. The same applies to your example above about how long it has been since you**'ve** read a good book.

I believe the fact that 'since' is sometimes used to mean 'because' deepens the confusion (my sentence above about the teetotaler would be okay without the 'Ever' at the start of the sentence).

And here's one that's still wrong to almost everyone: "I've wanted to go to Graceland ever since I've been a child."

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