Jump to content

English grammar: it's been a long time since + present perfect or past tense?

Mark Skype Teacher

Recommended Posts

Festive greetings to all!

I have a doubt about the correct tense for the following structure:

It's been a long time since I studied at university/I have studied at university..

I always thought that we can only use past tense in this structure at the end because the act of studying university is a finished action. I have also seen the present perfect utilised at the end of the sentence. Is this correct too? Perhaps one form is British English and the other American English?

If anyone would be so kind to enlighten us concerning this we'd be most grateful.

Thank you in advance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From an American English perspective, both the past tense and the present perfect sound correct. Neither one sounds more natural than the other. In American English however, rather than saying "to study at university" we would most likely say "to go to college." Therefore the sentence would be: "It's been a long time since I went to college" or "It's been a long time since I've gone to college" from an American English perspective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...