The Usage of Since and Ever Since

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A reader asks the following grammar question: Can you explain the difference between Since and Ever Since?

This is a great question from an English language learner, since these two usages are quite different even though they can overlap. Notice how the word since above is used as a logical connector meaning because? This use is known as a conjunctive adverb. A conjunction joins two thoughts, and an adverb describes an action, so a conjunctive adverb joins two thoughts and provides information about the action.

That tells us about the 8 parts of speech, but what about the usage of since and ever since?

Usage of since and ever since

Use ever since to describe an action that occurs after another point in time. This could be in the form of an adverbial phrase.

Ever since I joined the soccer team, I have been losing weight.

I have been losing weight ever since I began playing soccer.

You can use since in the same way: to indicate time.

I have been losing weight since I started playing soccer. (From the time that I began playing soccer.)

Use since by itself to indicate a logical connection.

But since can also be used as a conjunctive adverb to make a logical connection meaning because.

Since I have been playing soccer, I have been burning lots of calories. (Meaning “because” I have been playing soccer; in this case, the word “since” can also be used as a time (adverbial) function.)

I decided to go to college, since education will help me earn more money.

When you see the word “ever” you know that the usage is as an adverb, because “ever” is related to time. Think about phrases like “for ever” and words like “whenever.”

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