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I wanted to know if "since + clause" was an adverbial clause or noun clause in the phrase or after the phrase "it's been a while since I've seen you.".

I was thinking “it's been … since” might be like an adposition or a preposition or a circumposition

And maybe the phrase “it's been … since” might be like or mean “ago” or “before”.

Is “it's been … since” a phrase?

What might you think ?

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    It's neither. "Since" is a preposition, so "since I've seen you" is a preposition phrase. It functions as modifier in clause structure. – BillJ Oct 6 '20 at 10:49
  • Why do you think 'since' is a preposition? And if you think 'since' is a preposition Do you think 'a while' is an adverbial noun or subject complement? Or what might you think 'a while' is? – user6779864 Oct 6 '20 at 14:49
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    Trad grammar classifies this "since" as a conjunction. But "since" can also uncontroversially occur as a preposition when it has an NP as complement, and there's no basis for assigning it to different categories according as it takes an NP or a clause -- or no complement at all. Compare "since the meeting" (NP comp) / "since we arrived" (subordinating conjunction + sub clause) / "I haven't seen her since (adverb, no complement). This is just a matter of varying complementation, which is commonplace. I take "a while" to be an NP functioning as predicative subject complement of "be". – BillJ Oct 6 '20 at 15:29
  • I think you are showing that trad grammar shows that this "since" after noun and before a clause or this "since" between 'time' and a clause is a conjunction but I think you showed that this "since" is a preposition so I'm thinking what might "since" be or what do you think "since" might be. What might "it" be? – user6779864 Oct 7 '20 at 19:03
  • I consider "since" a prep. I've posted an answer. Also, see here: link – BillJ Oct 8 '20 at 7:29
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It's been a while since I've seen you.

Traditional grammar classifies this "since" as a conjunction. But "since" can also uncontroversially occur as a preposition when it has an NP as complement, and there's no basis for assigning it to different categories according as it takes an NP or a clause -- or no complement at all.

Compare:

since the meeting (NP comp)

since we arrived (subordinating conjunction + sub clause

I haven't seen her since (adverb, no complement).

This is just a matter of varying complementation, which is commonplace.

The addition of the word "since" to the class of preposition is controversial, but in my opinion justified.

I take "a while" to be an NP functioning as subjective predicative complement of "be".

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