Tense Confusion with the word "since"
Are both sentences correct with regards to grammar and tense?
1.) Since the semester started, I do not get enough sleep.
2.) Since the semester started, I did not get enough sleep.
Use of SINCE:
Since gives the starting point of actions or events. It refers to when things began in the past.
Since + a point in time (in the past), until now.
I've been working since morning.
I know her since childhood.
While using since we use the present perfect tense or the past perfect tense.
I have been waiting since morning and I am getting tired.
I had been working since morning and I was getting tired.
We can also use since in the following case:
He had not seen his wife since last two months.
I hope this helps.
|link comment||answered Jul 07 at 17:35 Scarlet Darwin Contributor|
I agree that we need to use the present perfect or present perfect progressive. However, it is the intended meaning-in-context that is important, as always. Let me first suggest that we change around the clauses in this complex sentence:
I have not been getting enough sleep since the semester started. [present perfect progressive]
Starting with the independent clause often clarifies matters. In this example, it is the action that is emphasised by using the present perfect progressive.
One could also emphasise the result by simply using the present perfect simple:
I have not got enough sleep since the semester started. [present perfect]
In this example, it is the result that is emphasised by using the present perfect simple.
I would use the present perfect progressive if it were my intention to highlight the ongoing nature of the sleeplessness, but I would use the present perfect simple if it were my intention to simply highlight the fact of being sleepless. As I pointed out above, it is all about intention and context.
|link||answered Jul 08 at 01:39 Ahmad Barnard Expert|
Number 1 is OK, but not great.
'Since the semester started' means from then up until now, so the past tense in number 2 doesn't work.
Your time frame is a continuing situation, so I would write it like this:
Since the semester started, I have not been getting enough sleep.
This is the present perfect progressive (or continuous) tense, and it conveys the time frame very well.
|link comment||answered Jul 07 at 15:12 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow|
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