Community Web Version Now Available
Professor Greg
From or Since?

Hey Language Learners!

Today, I want to help you all to understand the subtle difference between the use of from and since when talking about the past and the present. Both can be used to connect a specific detail from the past to a present condition. However, their uses are different. Since is much more versatile when it comes to the past than from, because from is normally used to show a period of time rather than just a specific starting point.  

From the age of seven until now, I have always loved riding bikes. 
I have loved riding bikes since the age of seven. 

From is used more at the beginning of a sentence, while since can come at the beginning or the end.Though it's not grammatically wrong to put the "from clause" at the end, it sounds incredibly strange. From is also paired with the word until to show the ending of the time period

I worked yesterday from 9 until 5. Compare that to:
I have been working since 9. 

In the first example, the action is completed and we are only talking about one frame of time, so we use the simple past tense. In the second example, since only shows the time you started working, and, because the action is ongoing, we use the present perfect continuous/progressive tense. 

Though both since and from can be used with adverbs of time and dates, since is used with continuous actions while from is used with the origin of objects, and, because the origin of something is a fact, we use the simple present tense. 

How long have you been working here? (When did you start?)
Since I was 18. (I started when I was 18)

When is this from? (When was it made/written?)
It's from the 80s. (It was made in the 1980s) 

There are many more uses of these words, but I hope this will help you to understand the difference between the two when talking about the past. 

If you have more questions, please let me know in the comments below, or send me a message. 


Greg :-)

2016年8月8日 20:41
Comments · 0
No comments yet
Professor Greg
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish