I think it should be:

Since my father has joined this post, he has not taken bribe.

The book I am reading says the correct one is:

Since my father joined this post, he has not taken bribe.

Which is right?

  • 4
    The verb conjugation aside, there's another problem: it should be "a bribe" or "bribes". If your book really says "taken bribe", I would throw it away, because it's not going to teach you very good English.
    – stangdon
    Apr 26 '16 at 17:31
  • It's apparently one of the standard book for English in India for exam preparation. :/ Apr 28 '16 at 16:42

The word since is used with two primary meanings:

  • for the duration of a period from a stated time or event up to the present
  • because

When used in the "durational" sense with reference to a personal event, the event is generally referred to in the simple past tense, or as a point in time:

I haven't been to the mall since I got a speeding ticket in the parking ramp there.

Since we became members of the club, we have taken advantage of the free lunch every Friday.

Since the end of the Great Depression, per-worker productivity has increased by over 400%.

The "because" sense can be followed by a much broader range of possibilities:

Since I don't want to get another ticket, I stopped going to the mall.

Since I've never gotten another ticket, my strategy is clearly working.

Since you have been a member for over 5 years, you qualify for a 2% discount.

Since your membership will expire next week, I have to ask if you'd like to renew now.

Using the present perfect ("has joined") with since tends to imply the "because" meaning, as it is not referencing an event that marks the start of a time period. Thus, the normal reading of your opening phrase ("Since he has joined...") would have to be followed by a consequence: Because he joined, something happened. If you want it to read as the duration meaning, you need to refer to your event in the simple past tense:

Since my father joined the post, he has never taken a bribe.

(Note that this leaves an implication that your father may have taken bribes before joining the post.)

It's also fairly common to emphasize the continuous durational meaning with the use of "ever" (especially at the beginning of a sentence, or when the event that the "since" is referring to was previously stated):

Ever since he joined, he has worn his hat everywhere.

I got a $300 speeding ticket once, and I have driven below the speed limit ever since.

  • I wish I could upvote more than once for explaining the difference between since as 'because' and since as 'from that point to now'.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 26 '16 at 20:18
  • This answer contradicts how native English speakers actually use this construction. The statement Thus, the normal reading of your opening phrase ("Since he has joined...") would have to be followed by a consequence: Because he joined, something happened. If you want it to read as the duration meaning, you need to refer to your event in the simple past tense is especially flawed. Apr 27 '16 at 13:11

What you are basically asking is: Can we use the present perfect in both the "since" clause and the independent clause in such a sentence as

Since my father has joined this post, he has not taken (a) bribe.

The answer is yes, and I will show this with many real world examples written by native English speakers. Note that there should be a determiner such as a or one before the single count noun bribe.

First, a reminder of what the present perfect does and why one might want to use it in a sentence such as yours.

Using the present perfect makes the past action of to join relevant to the moment of speaking. It refers to the whole duration or length of time between when the father first joined the club and right now, when the sentence is said. A rough paraphrase is

Since my father first joined the club all the way up till right now, he has not taken a bribe.

If you were defending your father against someone who has accused him of taking a bribe, you might want to use the present perfect tense because of how it connects the past action with the present moment.

Now, a dozen examples from real English, not textbook English.

Note that in less formal contexts, the present perfect is usually expressed in contracted form, so that your sentence would be either:

Since my father's joined this post, he's not taken a bribe


Since my father's joined this post, he hasn't taken a bribe.

Thus: my father has joined becomes my father's joined; and he has joined becomes he's joined; and I have joined becomes I've joined, etc.

Here are many examples from real world English. Note that in each example the "since" clause is talking about duration over time and not as a synonym for because:

I found all these examples using this google Books search ("since he's joined"). And I have even ignored the first one I get ("Ever since he's joined the Powhatan council as a sub chief he's had to put aside many of his opinions of them", because it uses the word ever, but really that makes no difference as to whether the sentence is grammatical.)


David has been invaluable since he's joined our unit.

Michael has done nothing but help us since he's joined us, and you can trust him ...

Why, he's been almost like a son to me since he's joined us...

Since he's joined the outfit, he's opened his yap about three times a day — usual at grub time, when if a man loosens up at all, he'll loosen up then.

(Note: the above perhaps uses "usual" in a dialectal way, but this does not invalidate the use of the clauses we are interested in.)

...he's unreliable and since he's joined up with that damned American. he's become insolent into the bargain.

Note that he's unreliable is a contraction of he is unreliable while he's joined up is a contraction of he has joined up. Every use of he's joined in these examples is a contraction of He has joined.

Well, ESPN's "SportsCenter" anchor Stuart Scott (who coined the above phrase) has been on a roll ever since he's joined the network in 1993.

Again, an ever in the above, but it can be deleted without changing the grammar of the underlying statement.

I've come close to wringing Sajjad's neck many times since he's joined us.

Note the change in subject from I to he in the two clauses does not matter as far as the grammar of your question goes.

{Do you know that} I've never even approached him about his hitting since he's joined the team?

I've watched him carefully since he's joined the chain, and the one thing he is not, is lazy. He has filled more plastic bags than Peter and me put together I point this out to him.

But I must say, it's been a week now since he's joined the queue for No. 24.

Tired of since he's joined? How about some since she's joined?

There's those who think May's gotten [May has gotten] real standoffish since she's joined up with the red hat ladies,” Velma said

'When I say she hasn't had it easy, I'm not talking about the ragging she's had since she's joined the police,' Turner told him. 'I'm talking about before.'

In the three weeks since she's joined AA, she's already volunteered to be in charge of refreshments and cleanup.

Vashni has proven her usefulness time and again in the short time since she's joined us.

She's been really innovative since she's joined us.

the Ways and Means Committee has never been the same since she's joined with us.

In the ten months since she's joined my family, I've had my hands full coping with her puppy hijinks,...

I do not have time, now, to add other examples, such as since I've joined, since you've joined, since we've joined and since they've joined; to search for uncontracted versions of any of the above; or to search for any verbs other than to join; but I hope these real world examples show that your first sentence agrees with the usage of native speakers.

You can also turn any of these examples into a question. For example:

Has Vashni proven her usefulness time and again in the short time since she's joined us?


Has Michael done anything but help us since he's joined us?

Please note that it does not matter if this usage (using the present perfect in both clauses) is less frequent than some other usage; what matters is if it is "grammatically correct." So, in sum, I have no idea why your book says that the second sentence is the correct one of the two.

You can also use since he's joined with the simple present tense in the independent clause:

But, on the other hand, the only thing he's known since he's joined the Department is special treatment.

Since he's joined the Night Guard, I swear he's spying on me.

Always was; but, since he's joined the proletariats in America, he's stark, staring mad.

...since he's joined the church, he's worse than ever.


When you want to ask the other party when (s)he joined the post, which of the following two questions would you ask?

When did you join the post?


When have you joined the post?

You have to use the former because the other party joined it on a specific date in the past. In other words, when you start a question with "when", you are interested in knowing the time when the action was (you can't use "has been" here, too) performed.

The conjunction "since" indicates a starting time of a period as in:

Since I was (not "have been") 20 years old, I have never dated a girl.

The sentence means the speaker (had) dated before he was 20 years old, but has never dated anyone since then.

This link explains:

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.

That's why you should not use the present perfect tense in your example as "when* indicates a specific time in the past.

  • 2
    You're unlikely to use "never" in your dating example (particularly since the implication is that you had dated girls before that time) as "never" implies that you've not ever dated a girl... and (I find) it's more common to reverse the order... "I haven't dated a girl since I was twenty."... As written, it sounds odd to me.
    – Catija
    Apr 26 '16 at 17:56
  • @Catija I know where you are coming from with your comment, but when you say "I have never been the same since", does it mean the speaker was never the same before the time since indicates? This expression means (s)he was the same before then, and changed after then and "has never been" the same since then. How is it different from "I dated a girl before that time, and have never dated afterwards". I don't think "never" is used that way in the present perfect tense. I drank a lot before I was 30 years old and I have never drunk since then. Does it mean I have never drunk in my whole life?
    – user24743
    Apr 26 '16 at 18:03
  • 2
    But your example doesn't say "since"... your example just says "I have never dated". Yes, you have since earlier in the sentence but it's not commutable in that way... plus, if you really want to use never, it works better if you use "but" instead of "and"... I drank a lot before I was 30 but I have never drunk since then. I honestly still have a difficult time including never in that sentence... but it's not as wrong.
    – Catija
    Apr 26 '16 at 20:15
  • @Catija What makes you think my example doesn't say "since"? I clearly stated "Since I was 20 years old, I have never dated a girl." Using "and" and "but" doesn't really depend on grammar. It is just a personal style and preference and there is no rule on this.
    – user24743
    Apr 26 '16 at 20:47

I am not an English teacher, but I am a native speaker and do a fair amount of writing.

The issue I see, without getting too technical, is the word "has" which is past tense, and "joined", which is also past tense. The "has" is not needed. It is redundant. The word "joined", being past tense, already implies that the action happened in the past.

Also, the comment on your original post is correct. Proper English requires an "a" before the word "bribe". Alternatively, the word "bribe" could be made plural.

"Since my father joined this post, he has not taken a bribe".


"Since my father joined this post, he has not taken bribes".

  • Has is present tense, I believe. Can you show in what way it is past tense? Apr 26 '16 at 20:12
  • 1
    You might find this helpful: verbix.com/webverbix/English/join.html "has joined" is the present perfect. "had joined" would be past perfect (or pluperfect if you want to sound very academic :)). Even native speakers may have trouble explaining the perfect aspects - I know I have to look them up every time to double check myself.
    – ColleenV
    Apr 26 '16 at 20:16
  • You are quite right. I am a bonehead. I still think the "has" is redundant, however.
    – Jason B.
    Dec 16 '16 at 23:33

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