I started doing my homework at 9, and I haven't finished it yet.
I started doing my homework at 9, and I haven't finished it since.

Which is correct and why?

He left home at 10 this morning, and we haven't seen him since.
He left home at 10 this morning, and we haven't seen him yet. 

Which is correct and why?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor
Original Post
Muh1994 posted:

I started doing my homework at 9, and I haven't finished it yet.
I started doing my homework at 9, and I haven't finished it since.

Which is correct and why?

For "since" to work, the verb in negative present perfect has to refer to a continued action or state, for example:

- I started doing my homework at 9 and I haven't done anything else since. (The only thing I've done during the period extending from 9 to the present is work on my homework.)

The verb "finish" refers to a punctual action that takes place at a certain point in time, and thus works with "yet":

- I started doing my homework at 9 and I haven't finished it yet.

Muh1994 posted:

He left home at 10 this morning, and we haven't seen him since.
He left home at 10 this morning, and we haven't seen him yet. 

Which is correct and why?

Both are possible, because the verb "see" (or, rather, "not see") can be understood as a continued impossibility to see the person because of his absence: In all these hours we haven't seen him -> We haven't seen him since.

The verb "see" can also be understood as the punctual action of perceiving somebody's presence (in this case, his return). Compare We haven't seen him yet with He hasn't returned yet.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

To add a footnote to Gustavo's excellent answer above, I'd like to point out that there is a sense of future expectation with "yet" (at least in sentences like these) which "since" does not have. "Since" is more objective.

Concerning "I started doing my homework at 9, and I haven't finished it since," we never say that we haven't finished doing something since we started doing it. We say either that we are still doing it or that we haven't finished it yet.

In the second pair, both "since" or "yet" can work, but each would be used in a different context. "Since" just reports that he's still away. "Yet" would be natural if he was coming to visit us, hadn't yet arrived, but had told us he left at 9.

Last edited by David, Moderator

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