Can the verb following "depuis que" be in the present tense?

Barbara

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2018

3 replies

Can the verb following "depuis que" be in the present tense?

All examples are in passe composé, but you say "depuis que" is followed by the indicative.  Could this be the indicative present?

This question relates to:
French lesson "Depuis que + verb = (ever) since + verb"

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2018

16/05/18

Hi Barbara,

yes, in fact, it can. Here is an example of a nice French idiom:

Depuis que les poules ont des dents. -- Literally: since hen have teeth. In English one would say, "since pigs can fly".

You use the indicative present tense when the action is still ongoing at the moment. In the example above it is implied that hen still have teeth now. You use the passé composé if the action is something that's a thing of the past, like in the following example.

Nous le savons depuis que tu nous l'as dit. -- We know it since you told us.

The action of telling us happened in the past and is not presently ongoing. This asks for the passé composé.

Greetings, -- Chris.

Alan

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2018

16/05/18

Interestingly one of the examples is actually not in the passé composé, even though the translation is in the past tense. Maybe the phrase "j'ai X ans" is an exception?

Depuis que j'ai quatre ans, je porte des lunettes.

Ever since I was four, I've been wearing glasses.

Alan

Kwiziq community member

16 May 2018

16/05/18

Ah - I see Aurélie has already explained this in the answers to previous questions.

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