Jan. 8, 2019

Sentence 008 Let the cat out of the bag.

008 There has been no rain in Arizona for the past 10 years.

There has been no rain in Arizona since 10 years ago.

Leslie: Let’s reverse the first question. Which is the worst sentence?

Esther: My answer is: ’There hasn’t been no rain in Arizona for the past 10 years.’

I feel that this is the worst choice because of the double negation.

L: I agree. Which is the second worst and why?

E: ’There hasn’t been any rain in Arizona since 10 years.’

I feel it is the second worst because you need an exact time after using ’since’.

L: Can you find yet another baddy? Is it possible that there are two equally good choices?

Do they mean exactly the same, or there is a slight shift of focus between the two?

E: Both could be correct but I’m not sure. If both are correct, then there will be a slight difference in the meaning.

’There has been no rain in Arizona for the past 10 years.’ It means that 10 years back in time from now till now no rain ’happened’.

’There has been no rain in Arizona since 10 years ago.’ I got it.  Exactly the same meaning.

Am I correct? Have I missed some difference in the meaning?

L: You are right. They are both correct but there is a slight difference in the focus.

One is about the period of time without a heavy focus on the starting point. You readily know the period and can only calculate the starting point.

The other focuses more on the starting point and less on the period of time that has elapsed.

E: Oh, now I see it. Interesting.

L: Well done and thank you very much for the cooperation.

E: Thank you. I’ve enjoyed thinking about the answers.