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 Forum 13 questions, 31 answers

MintooC1Kwiziq community member

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) 
Asked 1 year ago
JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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: Using Le Passé Composé or Le Présent in negative sentences with ''depuis''

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) 

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HughC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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).

Tom RuneC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

I understand Chris' answer to this question, i.e I understand why the _second_ clause is in the tense that it is in each example. What I don't understand, is why you would say "Depuis que j'ai quatre ans, je porte des lunettes" instead of "Depuis que j'avais quatre ans, je porte des lunettes". I take it for granted that the speaker is not four years old anymore, so why the present tense in the _first_ clause in this example?

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

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HughC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
HughC1Kwiziq community member
Oops! See above. H.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
I tried to answer this question in your later post.

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

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BarbaraC1Kwiziq community member

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?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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.

AlanC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Ah - I see Aurélie has already explained this in the answers to previous questions.

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?

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JacquiC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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).

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

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JoseC1Kwiziq community member

When can we use "dès que", if ever?

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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)
JoseC1Kwiziq community member
Thanks!

When can we use "dès que", if ever?

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GéraldineB2Kwiziq community member

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
Asked 2 years ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Geraldine, 

You would probably say,

"Je mange beaucoup de poisson depuis ma jeunesse..."

RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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,

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

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DanielleC1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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
DanielleC1Kwiziq community member
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...?
AurélieKwiziq team member
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: Using 'depuis' (since / for) with Le Présent and NOT Le Passé Composé (prepositions of time) I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

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

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RichardC1Kwiziq community member

when and how do you use: depuis quand ?

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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.
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !

when and how do you use: depuis quand ?

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YellamarajuC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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."
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Yellamaraju !

Yes, you could also say "We've known IT since you told us", although it's less colloquial in English :)
À bientôt !
YellamarajuC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci beaucoup, Aurélie

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."

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KatieC1Kwiziq community member

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)
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
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 !
KatieC1Kwiziq community member
I thought that might be the case -- the fact that the action is continuing in the present. Thank you so much for the clarification.

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)

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JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
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.
AurélieKwiziq team member
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!
JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks. That's very helpful.

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.

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JudyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
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?
AurélieKwiziq team member
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!
JudyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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 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.

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Getting that for you now.