Since + [time period]

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Apr 19 19:34:04 UTC 2000


I'm pretty sure I've heard native Americans make this construction, but I've
always believed it to be a mistake. It seems an easy mistake to make because
you might not have made up your mind as to whether use a specific date or a
period of time before the point in the sentence where you have to select
since or for, .

At least for the Japanese learning English, this is a difficult problem.

Benjamin Barrett
gogaku at

------Original Message-----
-From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On
-> On an NPR news program last week, regarding some new initiate Tony Blair
-> may be taking to try to restart the peace process in Northern Ireland, I
-> thought I heard a BBC correspondent say something like, "The two
-> governments have been working on a joint proposal since three weeks."
-> [...]

-The construction "since three weeks" strikes me as very odd.  "Since three
-weeks ago" might be more acceptable.  Since the BBC has allowed non-RP
-standard varieties be used by its newsreaders and reporters, it is possible
-that a regionalism slipped through in the correspondent, if s/he were from
-Ireland... although I don't know if this construction is acceptable in
-Hibernian English, either.

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