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

You have already seen that in affirmative sentences with depuis (= I have done this since/for + [date/duration]), you must use Présent indicatif in French, unlike the English Present Perfect.
See lesson Using 'depuis' (since / for) with Le Présent and NOT Le Passé Composé (prepositions of time)

But things change when it comes to negative statements (ne...pas) with depuis.
Indeed, in such cases, you will actually use Passé composé in French, as such: 

Elle n'est pas allée au cinéma depuis 1998.
She hasn't gone to the cinema since 1998.

Elle ne t'a pas vu depuis trois mois.
She hasn't seen you for three months.

Je n'ai pas fumé depuis novembre dernier.
I haven't smoked since last November.

Tu n'as pas bu d'alcool depuis cinq ans.
You haven't drunk alcohol for five years.

Here we use Passé composé because the use of the negation ne ... pas insists on the fact that the action stopped happening at the specific time mentioned (since/for) in the past. 

If we used Présent indicatif here, it would make it sound like the action "keeps on stopping" during the given length of time.

To say that a (recurring) action in the past has now stopped happening with depuis, you can also use Présent indicatif with ne ... plus (not any more) instead of ne ... pas

Tu ne bois plus d'alcool depuis cinq ans.
You haven't drunk alcohol for five years.

Je ne fume plus depuis 1998.
I haven't smoked since 1998.

 

Special case of depuis longtemps = not long vs not in a long time

Je ne vis pas en France depuis longtemps.
I haven't been living in France for long.

Je n'ai pas vécu en France depuis longtemps.
I haven't lived in France in a long time.

Il ne m'a pas parlé depuis longtemps.
He hasn't spoken to me in a long time.

Nous n'habitons pas ici depuis très longtemps.
We haven't lived here very long.

Ne ... pas + Passé composé + depuis longtemps 
OR 
Ne...plus + Présent indicatif + depuis longtemps 

not for a long time / not in ages
-> It's over and done in the past

ATTENTION:

Ne...pasPrésent indicatif + depuis longtemps = not long / not for long
-> It started a short while ago, and is still ongoing
See also Expressing for + [duration] with either pendant, durant, depuis or pour (prepositions of time)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Tu n'as pas bu d'alcool depuis cinq ans.
You haven't drunk alcohol for five years.


Tu ne bois plus d'alcool depuis cinq ans.
You haven't drunk alcohol for five years.


Tu n'es pas allé en Australie depuis quelques années.
You haven't been to Australia for a few years.


Il ne m'a pas parlé depuis longtemps.
He hasn't spoken to me in a long time.


Elle n'est pas allée au cinéma depuis 1998.
She hasn't gone to the cinema since 1998.


Nous n'habitons pas ici depuis très longtemps.
We haven't lived here very long.


Je ne vis pas en France depuis longtemps.
I haven't been living in France for long.


Je n'ai pas fumé depuis novembre dernier.
I haven't smoked since last November.


Je ne fume plus depuis 1998.
I haven't smoked since 1998.


Elle ne t'a pas vu depuis trois mois.
She hasn't seen you for three months.


Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.
Martin hasn't been here long.


Je n'ai pas vécu en France depuis longtemps.
I haven't lived in France in a long time.


Q&A Forum 18 questions, 42 answers

Sumesh C1Kwiziq community member

I am confused

Question is you haven't lived here long?

I answered tu n'as pas habilité ici depuis longtemps as per the explanation leçon un négatif sentence i should use passé composé

But  kwiziq is saying right answer is 

Tu n'habites pas ici depuis longtemps

Please explain

Asked 4 months ago
ClaireA1Kwiziq community member

I believe the lesson says that in this case, one would use the present indicatif:

"Ne...pas + Présent indicatif + depuis longtemps = not long / not for long 

-> It started a short while ago, and is still ongoing"

I am confused

Question is you haven't lived here long?

I answered tu n'as pas habilité ici depuis longtemps as per the explanation leçon un négatif sentence i should use passé composé

But  kwiziq is saying right answer is 

Tu n'habites pas ici depuis longtemps

Please explain

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LewisC1Kwiziq community member

Again question "...haven't been in France for long."

Test question: How would you say "I haven't been in France for long."?

Per the lesson, Ne...pas + Présent indicatif + depuis longtemps = not long / not for long -> It started a short while ago, and is still ongoing

My answer marked incorrect: Je n'arrive pas en France depuis longtemps.

Correct answer per system: Je ne suis pas arrivé en France depuis longtemps.

According to the lesson,

use of Présent indicatif translates as "not long / not for a long time," whereas

use of Passé composé translates as "not for a long time / not for ages; over and done in the past"

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

I would say this:

Je ne suis pas en France depuis longtemps.

Je ne suis pas arrivé en France depuis longtemps.

The former sentence talks about a period which started in the past and continues up until the present time. The second one focuses on the event of the arrival, which has no connection to the present.

LewisC1Kwiziq community member

Thanks, Chris, but I'm afraid the issue isn't resolved.

The test question regards an action that started in the past and continues up to present time ("have not been in France for long"), so I answered the test question using Présent indicatif as per the lesson yet the Kwiziq system marked my answer as incorrect and indicated the correct answer would be the use of Passé composé.

In other words, unless I'm misunderstanding the whole thing, the lesson says to use Présent indicatif but Kwiziq wants Passé composé.

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

You look at the French sentence, not the English translation. The French sentence takes about the act of arriving. That happened solely in the past.

Again question "...haven't been in France for long."

Test question: How would you say "I haven't been in France for long."?

Per the lesson, Ne...pas + Présent indicatif + depuis longtemps = not long / not for long -> It started a short while ago, and is still ongoing

My answer marked incorrect: Je n'arrive pas en France depuis longtemps.

Correct answer per system: Je ne suis pas arrivé en France depuis longtemps.

According to the lesson,

use of Présent indicatif translates as "not long / not for a long time," whereas

use of Passé composé translates as "not for a long time / not for ages; over and done in the past"

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CatherineB2Kwiziq community member

Re the example Martin n’est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.

The translation is

Martin hasn’t been here long. 

If the sentence is in le passé composé wouldn’t “depuis longtemps” mean “in a long time” and thus the translation would be “Matin hasn’t been here in a long time “?

Regards 

Catherine 

Asked 6 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

A more literal translation would be: Martin hasn't arrived since long ago. Hence the meaning that he hasn't been here long.

CatherineB2Kwiziq community member

Thanks 

Re the example Martin n’est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.

The translation is

Martin hasn’t been here long. 

If the sentence is in le passé composé wouldn’t “depuis longtemps” mean “in a long time” and thus the translation would be “Matin hasn’t been here in a long time “?

Regards 

Catherine 

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MarnieC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

ne...pas...be...plus..,depuis longtempsOne explanation box lacks example of lesson

 the box for ne...pas...depuis longtemps and "ne...plus...depuis longtemps" doesn't have any examples for the "ne...plus" part of lesson
Asked 11 months ago

ne...pas...be...plus..,depuis longtempsOne explanation box lacks example of lesson

 the box for ne...pas...depuis longtemps and "ne...plus...depuis longtemps" doesn't have any examples for the "ne...plus" part of lesson

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LewisC1Kwiziq community member

Still confused

I've read through the questions and answers below, but still don't understand the following example.

Test question: "I haven't been in France for long?" (ie, I recently arrived and I'm still here; ongoing).

From the lesson it seems the best construction would be: Ne...pas + Présent Indicatif + depuis longtemps (started a short while ago and is still ongoing).

But Kwiziq says the best answer is: Ne...pas + Passé Composé + depuis longtemps (not for a long time / not in ages).

If someone could explain it more clearly, thanks.

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Lewis,

I will try and explain further but I can understand your confusion ...

I am not sure what test you are referring to, but have a look at the following examples:

Je n'ai pas mangé depuis trois jours. = I have not eaten for three days. (meaning it is likely to change today)

Je ne mange pas depuis trois jours... = I have not eaten for three days...(meaning it is likely to carry on today and it is maybe worrying you 

On ne se parle pas depuis longtemps. = we have not spoken for ages . (sounds  like you won't do it again, maybe you have had a fall out )

On ne s'est pas parlé depuis longtemps. = We have not spoken in ages. (meaning you need to have a catch-up soon) 

Hope this helps!

 

SAB1Kwiziq community member
Should it be: On ne se parle plus depuis longtemps. ?
CécileKwiziq team member
You can say both ....

Still confused

I've read through the questions and answers below, but still don't understand the following example.

Test question: "I haven't been in France for long?" (ie, I recently arrived and I'm still here; ongoing).

From the lesson it seems the best construction would be: Ne...pas + Présent Indicatif + depuis longtemps (started a short while ago and is still ongoing).

But Kwiziq says the best answer is: Ne...pas + Passé Composé + depuis longtemps (not for a long time / not in ages).

If someone could explain it more clearly, thanks.

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KateA2Kwiziq community member

You haven't lived here long is in the B1 test

The correct answer is "Tu n'habites pas ici depuis longtemps" yet the lesson shows using the passé composé in negative sentences with "depuis" Why is the correct response in the present tense?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Kate,

the correct use of times with depuis can be tricky. Here are the rules in a nutshell.

If stating something that has been happening for a while and still ongoing, you use depuis with the present tense:

J'habite à Paris depuis 5 ans. -- I have been living in Paris for five years (and I still live here).

In negative sentences where the action is already past, you use the passé composé:

Je ne l'ai pas vu depuis son départ. -- I haven't seen him since his departure.

You may use the present tense if you are referring to a (frequently recurring or habitual) action which stopped in the past:

Tu ne fumes plus depuis l'été dernier. -- You don't smoke anymore since last summer.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).

You haven't lived here long is in the B1 test

The correct answer is "Tu n'habites pas ici depuis longtemps" yet the lesson shows using the passé composé in negative sentences with "depuis" Why is the correct response in the present tense?

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CrystalMaidenC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

When describing past events with depuis, can you substitute Present Indicative for Imperfect?

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Yes, in cases where the enunciation time is in the past, you will indeed use L'Imparfait instead of Le Présent.

However, your sentence here is not quite right: you cannot use "à cette époque de sa vie", and then talk about something that started before (depuis cinq jours).

You would use either say : 

Il était sans domicile depuis cinq jours.
OR
À cette époque de sa vie, il était sans domicile. 

I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour CrystalMaiden !

Could you give me a specific case ?

CrystalMaidenC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
" Par ce moment en sa vie, il était sans foyer depuis cinq journées. "

When describing past events with depuis, can you substitute Present Indicative for Imperfect?

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MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Instruction manque le "Ne...pas +"

Je pense que cette instruction: "Le Passé Composé + depuis longtemps OR ne...plus + Le Présent + depuis longtemps = not for a long time / not in ages -> It's over and done in the past" manque le "Ne ... Pas + " au début.
Asked 1 year ago
MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
C'est vrai? Le passé composé nécessite le "Ne...pas" aussi?
AurélieKwiziq team member
Merci beaucoup Michael ! Indeed, the "ne...pas" was missing here. Thanks to you, it's now been fixed :) À bientôt !

Instruction manque le "Ne...pas +"

Je pense que cette instruction: "Le Passé Composé + depuis longtemps OR ne...plus + Le Présent + depuis longtemps = not for a long time / not in ages -> It's over and done in the past" manque le "Ne ... Pas + " au début.

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AbtB1Kwiziq community member

depuis and Imparfait

I came across a sentence in a book where "depuis" was used along with the imparfait - can maybe you please confirm if it was used correctly? "Comme je ne faisais pas de bruit depuis un moment, maman est venue voir ce qui se passait." Merci d'avance!
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Bonjour abt,
If I am correctly understanding your question: «Comme je ne faisais pas de bruit depuis un moment, maman est venue voir ce qui se passait.» ---> As I was quiet for a while, mother came to see what was going on. Because you indicated that this came from a book, it appears to me that the author was writing descriptive text. Also, the quietness had been going on when the mother came to see what was happening, it had begun prior to her entering the area and was continuing up until she entered. In French this is a normal use of l'imparfait and depuis.
« the action started in the past, but is still ongoing at the time we speak.
In French, you use depuis to express an ongoing duration.»
«Note that L'Imparfait is also used for descriptions, i.e. to help visualise the setting or atmosphere in which an action took place, characters, location, time frame ...
In a similar way, L'Imparfait is also used to express opinions about the past:»

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
AbtB1Kwiziq community member
Merci Ron! Yes, your explanation makes sense. I was just not expecting the 2 to go together.
Abt asked:View original

depuis and Imparfait

I came across a sentence in a book where "depuis" was used along with the imparfait - can maybe you please confirm if it was used correctly? "Comme je ne faisais pas de bruit depuis un moment, maman est venue voir ce qui se passait." Merci d'avance!

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AbtB1Kwiziq community member

Bonjour!

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour abt, Please clarify your question and resubmit.
AbtB1Kwiziq community member
Sorry Ron! I pressed the enter key too quickly and before I could enter the actual question. <y question was about "depuis and Imparfait" which you answered above :)
Abt asked:View original

Bonjour!

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HarrietA1Kwiziq community member

Le Passé Composé + depuis longtemps= not long / not for long

Maybe I've not understood this bit of the lesson, but shouldn't this say '= not in a long time' instead of '= not for long'?
Asked 2 years ago
GruffKwiziq team member
Hi Harriet - can you be more specific about which sentence or part of the lesson you mean?
HarrietA1Kwiziq community member
Sorry, tried to put it as the question title but it was too long. It's the second to last note of the lesson: 'Le Passé Composé + depuis longtemps OR ne...plus + Le Présent + depuis longtemps = not long / not for long -> It's over and done in the past'
GruffKwiziq team member
Ah, yes, I see what you mean. Indeed, those cases correlate to "not for a long time". I'll get that clarified. Thanks!
HarrietA1Kwiziq community member
That's okay- just wanted to make sure I'd understood it properly!

Le Passé Composé + depuis longtemps= not long / not for long

Maybe I've not understood this bit of the lesson, but shouldn't this say '= not in a long time' instead of '= not for long'?

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BrianC1Kwiziq community member

Ne...pas + le présent + depuis longtemps

Nous ne sommes pas arrivés depuis longtemps. We have not been here for long. My question is, that since the English translation appears to imply that the action continues into the present, why is the above French sentence in le passé composé and not le présent. Like the examples: Je ne vis pas en France depuis longtemps. I have not lived in France for long. Nous n'habitons pas ici depuis très longtemps. We haven't lived here very long. This is my third attempt to get an answer. The previous answers told me to read the lesson. I have read it many times. What am I missing?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Brian !

The case of "arriver" is tricky because you use "to be" in English:
Literally, the French sentence means "We haven't arrived for long", referring to the action of arriving, not being there.
Therefore, this is not an action that is still ongoing: you have stopped arriving in the past, you don't "keep" arriving.
That's why you will use Le Passé Composé here.

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !
StevenB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Aurélie,

Could we also write "Nous ne sommes pas là depuis longtemps" as an alternative translation for "We haven't been here for long"? That way we omit the verb arriver altogether. 

AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Steven !

This is a correct alternative, though note that the "arriver" option is very colloquial and therefore worth remembering :)

Bonne journée !

Ne...pas + le présent + depuis longtemps

Nous ne sommes pas arrivés depuis longtemps. We have not been here for long. My question is, that since the English translation appears to imply that the action continues into the present, why is the above French sentence in le passé composé and not le présent. Like the examples: Je ne vis pas en France depuis longtemps. I have not lived in France for long. Nous n'habitons pas ici depuis très longtemps. We haven't lived here very long. This is my third attempt to get an answer. The previous answers told me to read the lesson. I have read it many times. What am I missing?

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JasonC1Kwiziq community member

Clarifying using depuis in the negative

Does 'nous ne sommes pas là depuis longtemps' mean 'we have been here, but not for long', or 'we have been absent for a long time'?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Jason !

The first one is correct: "We have been here but not for long.".

À bientôt !
JasonC1Kwiziq community member
Thanks Aurélie. This is super weird to me because it seems like in the Le Présent construction, it's almost like the negation applies more to the duration rather than the action. Nous n'avons pas été là depuis 1998 means "We have not been here since 1998; or, we have been absent since 1998". Does "Nous ne sommes pas là depuis trois minutes" mean "we were absent for 3 minutes (but are now here)", or "We have been here, but not not for 3 minutes"? Or is perhaps longtemps a special case? Thoroughly confused! Thanks for answering our questions!
KathyB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi Jason, I'm just learning this construction too but thought I'd try and address your question. To me, the present tense makes sense as "nous ne sommes pas là depuis longtemps" literally translates (in bad English) to "we aren't here since long". Implying we got here not long ago. I'm certain "depuis longtemps" is a special case, and don't think "Nous ne sommes pas là depuis trois minutes" is correct. The lesson above states that If we used Le Présent with depuis, it would make it sound like the action "keeps on stopping" during the given length of time. We need to use the past tense, or the present but with "ne... plus" Hope this helps.

Clarifying using depuis in the negative

Does 'nous ne sommes pas là depuis longtemps' mean 'we have been here, but not for long', or 'we have been absent for a long time'?

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LaineB2Kwiziq community member

Am I wrong?

On a quiz, I answered the question, "How would you say ''Suzanne hasn't seen him since 2013.'' ?" with "Suzanne ne le voit pas depuis 2013." because, to me it is very clear that it's something on going, and is still true. The answer KwizBot gave me was that "Suzanne ne l'a pas vu depuis 2013." which would imply that perhaps or perhaps not Suzanne has seen her or him since 2013, since the action in the past is finished.
Asked 2 years ago
JimC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
When you write "Suzanne ne le voit pas depuis 2013" you are not expressing "hasn't seen" you are expressing "did not see". To express "Suzanne hasn't seen him since 2013" you have to think that you are describing a situation in the past which is complete. "Suzanne has not seen him etc" therefore I agree with "Suzanne ne l'a pas vu depuis 2013" Hope that helps. Alan
AndrewC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I don't get this either and find myself agreeing with Laine. Surely if Suzanne hasn't seen him since 2013 and she still hasn't seen him then it's an action that started in the past but is still going on in the present, and hence requires the present tense? What would "Suzanne ne le voit pas depuis 2013" translate as? Or is it meaningless in French? Thanks for any clarification
MelodyB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Laine and Andrew- I had a similar problem with this question, and reported as a problem on the question, about 2 weeks ago. No response as yet. I did find this on another site- In negative sentences, depending on the meaning, depuis may be used with either the present (action still going on) or the passé composé to indicate how long something has not been going on (non-action). If that is indeed correct, then I understand why I got the question wrong. But the Kwiz lesson does not make this distinction. And, I have know way of knowing if the explanation from the other site is correct (although in my experience it's extremely reliable- and has been around a lot longer than Kwiziq).
MeghnaC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I have the same issue with this question. I keep getting it wrong when to me the Right answer is not 'Suzanne ne l'a pas vu depuis 2013´. Suzanne HASN'Tseen him clearly means she hasn't yet seen him and hence the present tense should apply. The correct answer must be ´Suzanne ne l'a pas vu depuis 2013.´ Can the powers that be at kwizik pls clarify - I need my diamond score ! And this is one question I keep repeatedly failing at.
KathyB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hm, I don't see the confusion. If anything it is directly consistent with the example given in this lesson: Elle ne t'a pas vu depuis trois mois. She hasn't seen you for three months. Following this lesson, the present tense is only applicable in two cases: 1) using "ne... plus". So, "Suzanne ne le voit PLUS depuis 2013" 2) using "depuis longtemps". But this would change the meaning of this example altogether... Does that help?

Am I wrong?

On a quiz, I answered the question, "How would you say ''Suzanne hasn't seen him since 2013.'' ?" with "Suzanne ne le voit pas depuis 2013." because, to me it is very clear that it's something on going, and is still true. The answer KwizBot gave me was that "Suzanne ne l'a pas vu depuis 2013." which would imply that perhaps or perhaps not Suzanne has seen her or him since 2013, since the action in the past is finished.

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JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Please translate "I am not going to Australia for a few years."

Does "depuis" always imply a past tense meaning so that it cannot be used in this sentence with the present tense of "aller?" Should the futur proche or the futur be used? Perhaps "Tu ne vas pas en Australie depuis quelques années, should probably avoided unless it is put in a specific context. Thanks.
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour John, That's correct, depuis always indicates a meaning in the past. To talk about "for" in the future, use pendant. You can use the present of aller, the futur proche, or the future. Je ne vais pas en Australie pendant quelques années. Je ne vais pas aller en Australie ... Je n'irai pas en Australie... "Tu ne vas pas en Australie depuis quelques années" means that you haven't gone in the last few years; it cannot have a future meaning.
JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks Laura. It has taken me a few days to get my head around this lesson and your answer is a big help.
StevenB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Hi Laura,

Would "pour" also be acceptable here? As in, "Je ne vais pas aller en Australie pour quelques années."

Please translate "I am not going to Australia for a few years."

Does "depuis" always imply a past tense meaning so that it cannot be used in this sentence with the present tense of "aller?" Should the futur proche or the futur be used? Perhaps "Tu ne vas pas en Australie depuis quelques années, should probably avoided unless it is put in a specific context. Thanks.

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AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.

This is also a tricky example to comprehend because here arriver is translated as having the same meaning as être. Would it be possible to see a translation of "Martin n'arrive pas depuis longtemps." to compare the difference the tense makes (for clarification) please?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Martin,

The tricky issue here is that you can't use the verb "to arrive" the same way as we use "arriver" in French. In this context, you'd rather use "to be" in English, however you need to remember that "arriver" in French is more of a process (i.e. in bad English it would be closer to "Martin hasn't got/arrived there for long").
Therefore, here, the process of "getting there" IS finished in the past, and NOT ongoing in the present: that's why you need to use Le Passé Composé.

FYI, "Martin n'arrive pas depuis longtemps." would give a very weird "Martin hasn't been getting there for long.", giving the impression that he's still in the process of arriving!

I hope that's helpful!

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps.

This is also a tricky example to comprehend because here arriver is translated as having the same meaning as être. Would it be possible to see a translation of "Martin n'arrive pas depuis longtemps." to compare the difference the tense makes (for clarification) please?

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AndyC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Is the following a correct way to approach this?

Depending on the context, I really struggled to see the distinction between which tense was appropriate to use with "depuis" and the negative. (I'm sure my Kwiziq results reflect that!) I've seen it described that The Present Tense is used when an action was taken in the past and is still the case now, and that Le Passé Composé is used to describe for how long something has not been going on. That is to describe an action that was not taken in the past, and has still not been taken yet. Is this an accurate way to decide which Tense is appropriate to use in negative sentences with depuis?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Andy, Yes, it's an accurate way to see it. Here is an example for using Le Passé Composé: "Il n'a pas mangé de viande depuis 4 ans." versus "Il ne mange pas de viande depuis 4 ans." In the first case, we consider the action of "not eating" as finished in the past (i.e. He hasn't eaten meat for four years.) implying that he could be eating meat NOW, whereas the second sentence insists on the prolongation of the action of "not eating" all through the past up to the present moment (i.e.He hasn't been eating meat for 4 years.), he's STILL not eating meat. I hope that's helpful!
NancyB2Kwiziq community member
Je suis bloquée à ce sujet!
JasonC1Kwiziq community member
Hi Aurelie "Suzanne ne l'a pas vu depuis 2013" vs "Suzanne ne le voit pas depuis 2013" - do both mean "Suzanne hasn't seen him since 2013", but the second implies that she is now or soon going to see him? Cheers Jason

Is the following a correct way to approach this?

Depending on the context, I really struggled to see the distinction between which tense was appropriate to use with "depuis" and the negative. (I'm sure my Kwiziq results reflect that!) I've seen it described that The Present Tense is used when an action was taken in the past and is still the case now, and that Le Passé Composé is used to describe for how long something has not been going on. That is to describe an action that was not taken in the past, and has still not been taken yet. Is this an accurate way to decide which Tense is appropriate to use in negative sentences with depuis?

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RobertB2Kwiziq community member

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps

A negative completed in the past, would that not be (in English) "had" instead of "have"?? Because "has not" sounds uncompleted
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
Bonjour Robert,

The passé composé can indicate that something happened in the past (Il est arrivé à 8 heures) or that it happened in the past but still has an effect on the present, as in your example. By saying "he hasn't been here," it's clear that he is still here. If you say "hadn't" that would mean that he's no longer here.
Robert asked:View original

Martin n'est pas arrivé depuis longtemps

A negative completed in the past, would that not be (in English) "had" instead of "have"?? Because "has not" sounds uncompleted

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