The context for my question is this:

There is a man I've known for more than half a year . When I first met him, he was wearing an old grey sweater. Later on, whenever I happened to meet him again, he had that same sweater on.

In this regard, would it be perfectly correct to say:

"Since I've known him, he always wears the same old grey sweater"?

Although I have a hunch that the second clause is asking for Present Perfect:

"Since I've known him, he has always worn the same old grey sweater",

I can't explain why. May it be that Simple Present would mean that what I observe only occasionally can't be the utter truth and sometimes the man wears something else?

Besides that, although I couldn't find any restrictions on the use of Present Perfect with another Present Perfect in the same sentence, neither did I find any explanations about an appropriateness of this grammar construction and when it can or should be used.

I am hoping that someone may help me to have this cleared up, and I would be most grateful for any help.

  • 1
    Your statement doesn't make sense to me, though. "Since I've known him" indicates a time span from when you met him until now. Then you say "he has always worn the same old grey sweater", but I can't see any implication that this is only when you saw/see him. So to me your statement says he was wearing the sweater every day during the mentioned time frame. "Every time I have seen/met him, ..." or such might be better.
    – user3169
    Jun 11, 2016 at 20:26
  • 1
    @user3169: I didn't spin it out of a thin air. Actually, the possibility of the use of this combination is mentioned passingly in Richard Side and Guy Wellman's Grammar and Vocabulary for Cambridge Advanced and Proficiency (page 18), but they don't supply this with really telling examples or any explanation.
    – Victor B.
    Jun 11, 2016 at 20:50
  • I didn't mean you did it. But my guess since you didn't add a source. Why it is always a good idea to do so.
    – user3169
    Jun 11, 2016 at 21:49
  • As a native speaker, I think the statement looks just fine.
    – stangdon
    Jun 11, 2016 at 23:49

1 Answer 1


First off, I think the example sentences are slightly wrong. They should probably read something like:

Ever since I've known him, he always wears the same old grey sweater.

Ever since I've known him, he has always worn the same old grey sweater.

Since I've known him implies one, specific moment in time, happening after the duration of knowing this person. Similar to: Because I've known him

Ever since I've known him implies that the action to follow (he has always worn) happened many times over a period of time. Always implies that the action was indeed continuous and in the past, and so the second sentence should probably be used instead of the first.

That said, in casual English, it's normal to hear either sentence.

  • This helps a lot. Greatly appreciated.
    – Victor B.
    Jun 12, 2016 at 1:22
  • As long as I have known him...(possible, right?)
    – V.V.
    Jun 12, 2016 at 9:27
  • @V.V. Yes, that is a good option.
    – Ringo
    Jun 12, 2016 at 19:11

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