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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

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://french.kwiziq.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

Katie

Kwiziq community member

9 July 2016

2 replies

In this sentence from the lesson, why isn't the first verb in the imparfait?

Depuis que j'ai quatre ans, je porte des lunettes. (The speaker is no longer 4 yrs old)

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

11 July 2016

11/07/16

Bonjour Katie !

I understand your confusion here, but in French, when saying "Since I was 4, young, small....", you will use Le Présent instead of l'Imparfait!
E.g.
Depuis que j'ai 4 ans
Depuis que je suis jeune
Depuis que je suis petit(e) ...

I think here it is because the action described as starting when you were small is still ongoing when you're speaking.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

Katie

Kwiziq community member

12 July 2016

12/07/16

I thought that might be the case -- the fact that the action is continuing in the present. Thank you so much for the clarification.

John

Kwiziq community member

8 December 2015

3 replies

In this sentence and answer from the lesson, why is the first verb conjugated in the present tense?

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

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

8 December 2015

8/12/15

Bonjour John,

It's in the present tense because we know now, and have known since you told us. French has no equivalent for the present perfect "have known" - the present tense is used instead.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 December 2015

8/12/15

Bonjour John,

Yes, indeed, like Laura said, we don't have an equivalent of that fascinating tense, the Present perfect, that seems to be sitting in-between past and present. So in French, you will use either Le Présent when the action is still ongoing now, OR Le Passé Composé when it occurred in the past.

In this case, they still know at the time they're speaking, so Le Présent!
Hope that's helpful!

John

Kwiziq community member

8 December 2015

8/12/15

Thanks. That's very helpful.

Judy

Kwiziq community member

2 December 2015

3 replies

I am having difficulty with this

I am having difficulty in understanding some of the rules around "depuis que". For example, the sentence "Depuis je te l'ai recontré, je me sense mieux" means in English "Since I have met you, I've been in love with you". Please explain why It isn't "Since I met you". Thanks.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

3 December 2015

3/12/15

Bonjour Judy,

"Since I have met you, I've been in love with you" is not correct in English. Can you please give me the link where you see that?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

8 December 2015

8/12/15

Bonjour Judy,

Here the issue is with the use of Present Perfect (I have met you). The fact is that in French we don't have an equivalent of that fascinating tense, that seems to be sitting in-between past and present.
So instead, you will use either Le Présent when the action is still ongoing now, OR Le Passé Composé when it occurred in the past.

In this case, because the action still has an ongoing effect in the Present, the Present Perfect is the "perfect" tense to use in English!
Hope that's helpful!

Judy

Kwiziq community member

8 December 2015

8/12/15

Thanks. I'm reviewing the use of the Present Perfect in English - that may be the problem I'm having with learning the French component.
I'll be right with you...