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Since when?

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
would you teach me how to use "since when?"
Would all the sentences below sound right?

1A. Since when do you have so much money?
1B. Since when do the police ignore complaints from victims of bullying!
1C. Since when does old Walder give us two feasts in a single fortnight?
[I'm not sure what this means]

2A. Since when husbands have been doing household chores in Japan?
2B. Since when have you been so modest?
2C. Since when have you been worried about your tooth?
2D. Since when have you become so interested in Karate?

Which tense can be used with "Since when?"

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
 

OoTmaster

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The only issue I can see is that in 2A should have the order of "husbands" and "have" should be switched.
"Since when have husbands been doing household chores in Japan?"

A fortnight is 14 days. It's not used often in current English (at least in the US) but a lot of native speakers would know the meaning. The phrase "old Walder" is probably a nickname for an older gentleman in charge. Does that help with the meaning of that sentence?
 

Julie.chan

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For the record, I didn't know what a fortnight is. It's not very important.

Regarding "since when", this construction is mostly used to convey your surprise at and/or disbelief in some fact you have just learned. It can also be used sarcastically. It's always used in a sentence that ends with a question mark (so you should fix that in 1B). The way you use it is about the same as "when" at the start of a sentence by itself, and how you order the words is just a function of how you order the words of questions in English. (I'm afraid I can't explain exactly how that works.)

Regarding the individual sentences:

1A is expressing surprise at the amount of money someone has.
1B is expressing surprise at an event where (I assume from context) someone was bullied and the police did nothing (though I would note that this wouldn't surprise anyone, so no one I know would say this; bullying is typically not something that police deal with).
1C is expressing surprise at how often Walder is treating the speaker with feasts, and there's an implication that the speaker suspects some sort of ulterior motive.
2A is malformed, as OoTmaster said. If you rewrite it the way he suggested, you get something expressing surprise at a Japanese husband doing housework.
2B is probably either a friendly tease at someone for unusual modesty, or a sarcastic quip about someone you consider to be pretentious, depending on tone and context.
2C is expressing surprise at (presumably) the person you're talking to suddenly expressing concern over their tooth.
2D is expressing disbelief in someone's sudden interest in karate.

Note that this sort of expression can often have a negative connotation, so I wouldn't recommend using it willy-nilly, and especially don't use it in a professional setting.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, OoTmaster and Julimaruchan.
 

Lothor

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Hirashin - Glad JuliMaruchan pointed out the subtleties with 'since when'. I don't think you need to worry about them when it comes to teaching your students since they are unlikely to be seen as native or near-native speakers of English. However, if you are speaking in English, do remember that, for example, 'Since when did you take an interest in your children's education?' can sound as if they didn't show any interest before.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the further information, Lothor.
I was just going to ask if other tenses can be also used with "since when".
The example you gave shows that you can also use the past tense with "Since when".
Then how about the present progressive and other tenses?
Would these sentences be used?
3A. Since when are you studying Japanese?
3B. Since when is he reading the Bible?

4A. Since when were they practicing karate?
4B. Since when were you jogging in the park?

Hirashin
 

Lothor

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I assume you have already taught your students 'since' and the fact that you use it with the present perfect or present perfect continuous tense - e.g., I have been living in Japan since 2003.

I would tell them to always use present perfect continuous with 'since when', it works every time as far as I can tell.

Since when has be been reading the Bible?
Since when have you been jogging in the park?
etc.
 

Habaek

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I assume you have already taught your students 'since' and the fact that you use it with the present perfect or present perfect continuous tense - e.g., I have been living in Japan since 2003.

I would tell them to always use present perfect continuous with 'since when', it works every time as far as I can tell.

Since when has be been reading the Bible?
Since when have you been jogging in the park?
etc.

That sounds very unnatural, why not just go with
since when do you read the bible, and since when do you jog in the park?
 

Lothor

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That sounds very unnatural, why not just go with
since when do you read the bible, and since when do you jog in the park?
'Since' clearly includes a reference to the past, so the present tense is unacceptable.
 

Julie.chan

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I disagree. You're hypercorrecting. Statements formulated like "Since when do you read the Bible?" are quite commonplace; in fact I'd say that's the preferred form. "Since" is a reference to the past, but "do you" is not a reference to the present moment, it's a reference to current habits, in the same vain as statements like "I bike to work", "I go to school", and "Alyssa makes bracelets as a hobby". The "since when" reference to the past is when the habit started.
 

Lothor

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We'll have to agree to disagree on that, could be a British/US English thing.
 

hirashin

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Lothor, would you tell me a little more about which tenses would be used in the UK?
You recommend us to use the present perfect tense. But do you also use the present tense
like 1A, 1B, and 1C in my first post?
 

Lothor

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Hirashin - I think the only time people would use the expression in the present tense in British English is when they are using it as a rheotorical question to express a strong emotion, usually surprise or anger, which JuliMaruchan referred to in her first post.
e.g., 'Since when do you think you can tell me what to do?'
I think 'Since when' is not often used as a straightforward question in Britain - someone is more likely to say 'How long have been living in Japan?' or 'When did you come to Japan' than 'Since when have you been living in Japan'.
 

hirashin

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Oh, I see. Thank you for the information, Lothor.
 

Habaek

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I disagree. You're hypercorrecting. Statements formulated like "Since when do you read the Bible?" are quite commonplace; in fact I'd say that's the preferred form. "Since" is a reference to the past, but "do you" is not a reference to the present moment, it's a reference to current habits, in the same vain as statements like "I bike to work", "I go to school", and "Alyssa makes bracelets as a hobby". The "since when" reference to the past is when the habit started.
Maybe he's a robot teaching others to become a robot.
 
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