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Doubt on Sentences with Depuis

Aashpreet K.A1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Doubt on Sentences with Depuis

As per this lesson, would it be wrong to use the passé composé in ALL positive sentences with DEPUIS?? 

For example - "Vous avez grossi depuis l'année dernière."? Is it incorrect? [You have gained weight since last year]. Is it a must to use present tense ONLY over here?

So, "Vous grossissez depuis l'année dernière." - (Present Tense) [You have been gaining weight since last year] 

Asked 11 months ago
Chris W.C1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

If you are making a statement about something that has been going on for a certain duration and is still continuing at the present time then you always use depuis with present tense. This is different than how you'd say it in English, which looks at the whole period of time from the past, where the action started.

Je suis en route depuis 2 heures. -- I've been on the road for 2 hours.

The case is different if you're not speaking about something that is still ongoing. For example, in reported speech:

Il m'a dit qu'il avait été en route depuis 2 heures. -- He told me that he had been on the route for 2 hours.

In French, you always look at the interval from the current perspective. That's why, in the following sentence, you use imperfect while in English you use past perfect tense (looking at the duration from its beginning in the past).

Je lisais un livre depuis 2 heures quand tu es rentrée. -- I had been reading a book for 2 hours when you came home.

CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Aashpreet,

Chris is correct!

Also, our lesson on "depuis" looks at the continuous evolution of an action. However, another aspect to consider with "depuis" is that it can be used to compare a moment in the past and a moment in the present (just like in "Vous avez grossi depuis l'année dernière") - where you will use Le Passé Composé

Vous grossissez depuis l'année dernière = You have been gaining weight since last year -> still going on
Vous avez grossi depuis l'année dernière = You gained weight since last year -> comparing past and present situation

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

Anne D.C1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

"Vous avez grossi depuis l’année dernière.."

That example from Céline is very interesting, but (understandably) seems directly to contradict the very definite title at the top of this learning module 

 I guess "since" and "for" in English cover a lot of situations that are better differentiated in French.

Doubt on Sentences with Depuis

As per this lesson, would it be wrong to use the passé composé in ALL positive sentences with DEPUIS?? 

For example - "Vous avez grossi depuis l'année dernière."? Is it incorrect? [You have gained weight since last year]. Is it a must to use present tense ONLY over here?

So, "Vous grossissez depuis l'année dernière." - (Present Tense) [You have been gaining weight since last year] 

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