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Wednesday, 26 September 2018 18:36

Since - Sense - Cents - Ask Scott: How do you use these words?

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Ask Scott: This question comes from Bob in Hangzhou, China.

Q. How do you use the word SINCE?

A. Great question! Like many words in English, it has MANY meanings and uses, so it has MANY translations in Chinese! It can give a reason for something, like "because" or "as."

1. It can give the reason for something, like "because" or "as."

  • Bob visited us in Nanjing since he lives in Hangzhou and it's not that far away.
  • Bob's English is getting better and better since he studies online with!
  • Since it's raining, we're going to stay home today.

2. It can mean "from then until now."

  •  David has played the piano since he was four years old. 
  •  I have been teaching since 1986.
  •  China has seen many changes since World War II.
  •  Ricky began learning English with and has been with us ever since. 
    (Note: Use "since" with a specific starting point in time.  Since 2:00. Since we graduated. Since last Friday. If you want to refer to a length of time WITHOUT a specific starting time point, use "for."  For example:
    He has played piano for five years.                         vs.    He has played piano since third grade.
    They have lived in New York for three years.          vs.    They have lived in New York since 2017.
    He has been eating for 30 minutes.                         vs.    He has been eating since 12:30.

Be careful. These two words SENSE and CENTS sound the same as SINCE, but have different meanings.




1. One of the faculties of sight, sound, touch, hearing, and taste (noun)

  • Young children learn about the Five Senses.
  • Both dogs and deer have an amazing sense of smell.
  • If you catch a cold and lose your sense of smell, you often lose your sense of taste too-- foods don't taste very good if you can't smell them.


2. A "gut feeling," understanding or intuition (noun)

  • The longer he was there, he had a sense that something was not right.
  • Billy had a strong sense of regret when he realized he had been wasting a lot of time in high school.
  • Robert felt a huge sense of accomplishment when he graduated in the top 10% of his high school class. 

3. An inborn ability or strength (noun)

  • Mom has a very strong sense of right and wrong.
  • Deborah has a great sense of direction; she seldom gets lost.
  • Dad has a great sense of humor; that's probably what helps him stay young. 

1. To feel or figure something out (verb)

  • We sensed that something was wrong with the neighbors, but we couldn't identify what it was.
  • Dad sensed that Marie was trying to hide something, but he couldn't figure it out.
  • Betty sensed her friends might do something special for her birthday, but she never dreamed it would be a huge surprise party!


CENTS  Plural of "cent," 1 penny.

  • "When I was a kid, you could buy a whole bag of candy for just five cents," Grandpa told us.
  • "That will be five dollars and 37 cents," the cashier told us.
    Do you SENSE you want to improve your English skills? SINCE you already on this page, contact me today to find out how we can help you learn English online. You can learn safely and conveniently at your home or office. Does that make SENSE




Read 13355 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 October 2018 18:11
Scott Dreyer

A licensed teacher in the US state of Virginia since 1987, Scott Dreyer has been helping Chinese speakers improve their English since 1989. Dreyer lived in Taiwan from 1989-1999 where he learned Mandarin, met his wife, started his family, and realized he loved working with Chinese students. He became an award-winning author and started teaching ESL online in 2008. Dreyer and his wife and their four adult children make their home in the beautiful Roanoke Valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

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