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I am confused with this and rarely see since put at the end of a sentence:

There were the children to consider. She had told him she wanted a divorce two days ago, and neither of them had slept since.

Can since be put at the end?

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It means that neither of them had slept since whatever happened in the first part of the sentence - in this case, her telling him she wanted a divorce.

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  • Can you add some example sentence with "since" at the end? – user152424 Dec 22 '15 at 9:13
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    OK: In 1965 I tasted real espresso coffee, and I haven't drunk instant since. – David Garner Dec 22 '15 at 9:15
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    Or: Mary phoned me to say she was getting on the train, and I haven't heard from her since. – David Garner Dec 22 '15 at 9:18
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    Isn't this usage really just a contraction of "since then"? – Jeff Y Dec 22 '15 at 10:57
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    @JeffY, I nearly added that these sentences could be seen as missing a final 'then', standing in for the time mentioned in the previous clause. I thought I'd be over-complicating it, but on reflexion it's worth adding. – David Garner Dec 22 '15 at 11:22
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It is just a matter of reordering the words in the sentence. The following sentence is not really different in meaning:

Neither of them had slept since she had told him she wanted a divorce two days ago.

However, this sentence is more focused on "Neither of them had slept", while the sentence in the question is more focused on "She wanted a divorce two days ago", which is probably more important.

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  • Hi, wythagoras, you need to change "he" to "she" after since in the quote. – user24743 Dec 22 '15 at 9:30
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    It's not just a matter of reordering, because the original is actually a compound sentence. – Jeff Y Dec 22 '15 at 10:59
  • So you come to the conclusion that the meaning is different, after all. And as Jeff points out, the syntactical structure is not remotely similar. So, how is this still "just a matter of reordering", then? It is not just a matter of reordering on any level or by any stretch of imagination. – ЯegDwight Dec 22 '15 at 13:28
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The word 'since' can act as a preposition or a conjunction (also an adverb). In your sentence:

"She had told him she wanted a divorce two days ago, and neither of them had slept since."

'Since' is simply a preposition, linking the dependent clause:

"... , and neither of them had slept since."

back to the independent clause you started the sentence with:

"She had told him she wanted a divorce two days ago ..."

Maybe you are more familiar with 'since' as a conjunction? In which case the sentence would have read:

"Neither of them had slept since [conjunction] she had told him she wanted a divorce two days ago."

Note: Ignore any silly rule you may have heard that tells you not to end sentences with prepositions. It's bunkum.

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