Depuis que... (present tense)

AshC1Kwiziq community member

Depuis que... (present tense)

Hi there,

I was wondering if someone could explain a little more in detail why we use the present tense in the following example:

"Depuis que je suis toute petite, tout ce qui est français me fascine."

I think I kind of get it for the fascination piece, but not the "since I was little".


Thanks!

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Ash, 

In French, if the action is ongoing you will use the présent + depuis (since)

J' habite la Grande Bretagne depuis que je suis toute jeune = I have lived in England since I was very young

(et ça continue = and it's ongoing) 

It always seems very odd to English speakers.

Take a look at the following Kwiziq lesson on the use of the present tense with depuis -

https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/how-you-use-depuis-since-for-with-le-present-and-not-le-passe-compose-prepositions-of-time

 

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The problem is that "je suis toute petite" is no longer ongoing at the time of speaking, but it was ongoing once - i.e. it was a continuous state rather than an action or a change of state.

There's a thread about it here, but the explanation is not very clear.

https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/31604/why-present-tense-in-depuis-que-je-suis-petite

There's a better explanation here, but in French, and the intended audience are grammar specialists, but I still found it useful:

https://www.persee.fr/doc/igram_0222-9838_1999_num_80_1_3567

CécileKwiziq team member

Alan, 

I think the problem if with age as a starting point when you can't use the past tense as in English .

There was another example which created the same problem -

Je porte des lunettes depuis que j'ai 7 ans 

although you could say

... depuis l'âge de 7 ans

avoiding the problem.

But you cannot say in French 

depuis que j'ai eu 7 ans 

Thanks for the two links...

Depuis que... (present tense)

Hi there,

I was wondering if someone could explain a little more in detail why we use the present tense in the following example:

"Depuis que je suis toute petite, tout ce qui est français me fascine."

I think I kind of get it for the fascination piece, but not the "since I was little".


Thanks!

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