There's this test http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbs12.htm

The relevant part is:

I have visited so many beautiful places since I (come) to Utah.

Apparently it's more natural to say verb in a Past Simple after "since":

"since i came" = 40,900,000 results

"since i've come" = 8,830,000 results

But is this grammatically incorrect to make it Present Perfect?

The rule says:

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CAN use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

Does the word "since" make a time specific?

  • 4
    Possible duplicate of Proper usage of the word since. Also Since and present perfect tense. Your example Present Perfect is "grammatical", but native speakers would rarely bother with that unnecessarily complex tense, since it's unlikely to add anything useful to the meaning. Jan 3, 2016 at 15:39
  • @GoDucks How is the test not wrong if below you describe how it is wrong?
    – Hey
    Jan 4, 2016 at 4:38
  • @Hey Sorry, I was incorrect. At first I thought that the sentence you are asking about was NOT one for which you had to choose the answer.
    – GoDucks
    Jan 4, 2016 at 5:28
  • 2
    @FumbleFingers - I'm amazed that this question is marked as a duplicate of a question where quite another thing is being discussed. In this question, the problem is whether we can use Present Perfect inside "since-clauses" when the main clause already uses it. Jan 6, 2016 at 11:16
  • @CopperKettle: As it says in the top answer to the linked question, Since is employed to designate a timespan running from a definite point in time up to the current 'Reference Time'. By implication, OP's use of Present Perfect is at the very least superfluous (and arguably borders on "nonsensical"), because the referent for that "definite point in time" is itself a complex expression that lasts from some time in the past up until time of utterance. Effectively, it's saying from [a timespan lasting from then until now] up until now - a somewhat strange way to phrase things. Jan 6, 2016 at 14:28

2 Answers 2


It is not grammatically incorrect to use the present perfect in the clause with since.

The usual difference between the simple past and present perfect apply.

If I want to refer to some past action that is completely over, I'll use the simple past.

I came to Utah (in 2014, three hours ago, two decades ago).

If I want to refer to that past action, I can use since:

Since I came to Utah (in 2014, three hours ago, two decades ago), I have visited so many beautiful places.

We would not use the present perfect with since in the above sentence if we mention the specific time that is completely in the past (in 2014, three hours ago, two decades ago).

But we could use the present perfect if since refers to an action that started at some indefinite time in the past and has some kind of 'psychological relevance' to the speaker at the moment of speaking.


Since I've come to Utah, I have visited so many different places.

is grammatical as is the version with the clauses switched:

I have visited so many different places since I've come to Utah.

I don't put a lot of emphasis on number of Google results. But I can say that using since with the simple past would be more common, because we often just want to refer to an action that is entirely in the past.

A better example of using since with the present perfect might be

Since I've come to know you, I've visited so many beautiful places.

In this case it would be a bit strange (but not impossible or ungrammatical) to use the simple past:

Since I came to know you, I've visited so many different places.


There's nothing wrong. It depends of the meaning.
Michael Swan — Practical English Usage explains that since can be used as a conjunction:

​522 ​since: tenses

​​ ​2 ​​ ​since — clause

since can be used as a conjunction of time, introducing its own clause. The tense in the since — clause can be perfect or past, depending of the meaning. Compare:
​​​ ​ ​— I've known her since we were at school together.
​​​ ​ ​I've known her since I've lived in this street.
​​​ ​ ​— You've drunk about ten cups since you arrived.
​​​ ​ ​You've drunk about ten cups since you've been sitting here.
​​​ ​ ​— We visit my parents every wee since we ​bought the car.
​​​ ​ ​We visit my parents every week since we've ​had the car.

  • How is it not wrong if you describe how it is wrong?
    – Hey
    Jan 4, 2016 at 4:38
  • Not all your examples match OP's context. If we take, say, to live [in a street], this denotes a "continuous" activity - so it has an inherent "duration", meaning you can validly ask How long have you lived here? On the other hand, you can't ask How long have you come here? (except maybe as a rather odd way of asking How long have you been in the habit of visiting this place?). In OP's context, to come = to arrive (as a one-off action), so you can only ask things like How long ago did you come here? Jan 6, 2016 at 14:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .