Depuis que + verb = (ever) since + verb

Look at these sentences using depuis que:

Depuis que je t'ai rencontré, ma vie a complètement changé.
Since I met you, my life has changed completely!

Depuis que j'ai quatre ans, je porte des lunettes.
Ever since I was four, I've been wearing glasses.

Nous le savons depuis que vous nous l'avez dit.
We've known since you told us.


Note that to express since in the sense of "since a point in time" followed by a conjugated verb, in French you use depuis que + verb in L'Indicatif.


ATTENTION: You can never omit the que.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Depuis que j'ai quatre ans, je porte des lunettes.
Ever since I was four, I've been wearing glasses.


Depuis que je t'ai rencontré, ma vie a complètement changé.
Since I met you, my life has changed completely!


Nous le savons depuis que vous nous l'avez dit.
We've known since you told us.


Q&A

Mintoo

Kwiziq community member

18 August 2018

3 replies

Depuis qu' il est petit, il adore les sucettes. (Since he was small, he's loved lollipops.)

This was the question in the mini kwiz. isn't the translation ( since he is small, he loves lollipop) 

Jim

Kwiziq community member

18 August 2018

18/08/18

No! I don't think so.

Depuis que as I understand it makes reference to a time earlier which is continuing now.

I understand that "depuis" is used with the present tense.

It would be nice to have an expert comment though.

Hope that helps.

Alan

Chris

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2018

19/08/18

Not an expert, but depuis can be used with other tenses as well:

Elle ne m'a pas téléphoné depuis quelques jours. -- She hasn't called me since several days. 

There's even a lesson on kwiziq: https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/when-to-use-either-le-passe-compose-or-le-present-in-negative-sentences-with-depuis

Kwiziq community member

19 August 2018

19/08/18

Just to expand upon my previous answer:-

With depuis or depuis que the present is used to express the action starting in the past but still continuing in the present. Hence the text "Depuis il est petit" etc etc. In English we say "Since he was small  ..... because we are referring to the earlier status. but the French expresses this as "Depuis il est petit" ......

Best wishes,

Alan

Hugh

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2018

2 replies

Why not the present tense?

Hi there;

Can I spell out my difficulty with this?

The three sample sentences are (and I've re-ordered the clauses on one to make my point clear):

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

Depuis que vous nous l'avez dit, nous le savons.

Depuis que je t'ai rencontré, ma vie a complètement changé.

In the first two examples, the second clause of each is in the present tense; why not in the third example?

Best wishes,

Hugh

Chris

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2018

7/08/18

Hi Hugh,

this is a tough question for English speakers. I'll give it a shot.

In the first sentence you are still wearing glasses presently, so it is present tense.

In the second example, we still now each other today, so it is present tense.

In the third example, her life changed at a certain instant in time which lies in the past. Therefore the passé composé.

I hope that helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

9 August 2018

9/08/18

Hi Hugh,

You will have learnt that depuis .... is followed by the present tense. e.g.

J'habite Paris depuis deux ans = I have lived in Paris for two years 

Je connais Pierre depuis vingt ans = I have known Pierre for twenty years

et ça continue ...(and it is carrying on).

That is why in French you will use the present tense and not the perfect .

(You will hear foreigners making the same mistake in reverse: I live in since two years )

The first example is a continuous action,  the person has been wearing glasses since the age of four.

In the following sentences the action is finished: They now know it and their life has changed.

That is why I feel, the past tense has to be used.

Hope this helps!

Hugh

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2018

2 replies

Why the use of the passé composé instead of the present?

Hugh

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2018

7/08/18

Oops! See above. H.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

7 August 2018

7/08/18

I tried to answer this question in your later post.

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?

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.

Jacqui

Kwiziq community member

6 May 2018

1 reply

why is the passé composé used here: "depuis que je t'ai rencontré"?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

7 May 2018

7/05/18

Hi Jaqui,

I agree that this lesson still lacks an explanation since it only gives three examples with no rule or explanation.

You may want to look here: http://patenotte.name/Aix/Ecriture/Feuilles_aides_pedagogiques/depuis_pendant_il_y_a.htm
I found this page very helpful for this topic.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Jose

Kwiziq community member

21 October 2017

2 replies

When can we use "dès que", if ever?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

21 October 2017

21/10/17

Bonjour Jose, Here is a lesson Laura has written that speaks to this subject: https://www.thoughtco.com/does-des-que-need-subjunctive-1369144 Also, here is another lesson on the same subject from a different source: https://www.francaisfacile.com/exercices/exercice-francais-2/exercice-francais-73036.php At times when I become stuck on a topic, I will use a different site reference that can provide a different perspective on the topic. I find that usually provides an explanation that compliments this site. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (also a non-native speaker)

Jose

Kwiziq community member

22 October 2017

22/10/17

Thanks!

Géraldine

Kwiziq community member

16 August 2017

1 reply

Je voudrais poser un question au sujet de " depuis que".

Peut-on dire.. Je mange beaucoup de poisson depuis que j'était jeune. C'est possible d'utiliser l'imparfait ou on doit utiliser le passé composé? Merci, Géraldine

Ron

Kwiziq community member

17 August 2017

17/08/17

Bonjour Géraldine, Je mange beaucoup de poissons depuis quand j’étais jeune I eat a lot of fish since the time I was young. This would use l'imparfait; however, the sense of the phrase changes somewhat. Bonne chance,

Danielle

Kwiziq community member

17 June 2017

3 replies

Hello! Can we say 'depuis que je te connais....'

Ron

Kwiziq community member

17 June 2017

17/06/17

Bonjour Danielle, La leçon m'a l'air de dire oui à votre question. Voir l'example au-dessous: Depuis que je t'ai rencontré, ma vie a complètement changé. Et from le Collins-Robert: «since --> You use since when you are mentioning a time or event in the past and indicating that a situation has continued from then until now .» J'espère que cela vous aidera. Ron

Danielle

Kwiziq community member

17 June 2017

17/06/17

Merci Rob! So 'depuis que je te connais' could be translated as 'since I have known you...' eg. since I have known you, my life has been happier' Depuis que je te connais, ma vie a été (or, est?) plus heureuse...?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

19 June 2017

19/06/17

Bonjour Danielle ! The answer is yes, you can use Le Présent after "depuis que" when referring to an action that is still ongoing in the present. When you say "depuis que je te connais", the action of *knowing you* is still valid in the present, hence the use of Le Présent. By contrast, in the example Ron quoted "Depuis que je t'ai rencontré", the action of *meeting you* is completely in the past, finished, hence the use of Le Passé Composé. See also: https://progress.lawlessfrench.com/revision/grammar/how-you-use-depuis-since-for-with-le-present-and-not-le-passe-compose-prepositions-of-time I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Richard

Kwiziq community member

11 June 2017

2 replies

when and how do you use: depuis quand ?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

12 June 2017

12/06/17

Strictly speaking: depuis quand = since when; depuis combien de temps = how long. However, in everyday speech, it would not be uncommon to hear the following dialog: — Depuis quand es-tu au chômage ? — Oh, ça doit faire deux mois.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

14 June 2017

14/06/17

Bonjour Richard ! As Ron said, "depuis quand" means "since when" (specific starting time), whereas "depuis combien de temps" would be "For how long" (duration). Bonne journée !

yellamaraju

Kwiziq community member

25 October 2016

2 replies

Nous le savons depuis que vous nous l'avez dit

We've known since you told us. Is it correct to say "We've know it since you told us."

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

26 October 2016

26/10/16

Bonjour Yellamaraju ! Yes, you could also say "We've known IT since you told us", although it's less colloquial in English :) À bientôt !

yellamaraju

Kwiziq community member

26 October 2016

26/10/16

Merci beaucoup, Aurélie
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