13.10.2 dès and depuis

It is a bit difficult to find the differences between dès and depuis. The most simple cases first; note: here they are not prepositions but conjunctions.

  dès que = as soon as; depuis = since, for
a) Depuis qu' il est là, il ne fait que des bêtises.
    Since he is here, he only makes nonsense.
  b) Dès qu' il est là, il ne fait que des bêtises.
    As soon as he is here, he only makes nonsense.

a) is about a certain length of time b) is a more general statement, where the starting point has a great importance. .

Dès and depuis can also be prepositions.

dès = from ... on (in the future)
depuis = since

Dès is the only option when a starting point in the future is mentions.

  dès que = from ... on
  Dès demain je ne serai plus là.
    From tomorrow on I will not be there anymore.
    not: Depuis demain, je ne serai plus là.
    Since tomorrow I will not be there anymore.
  Dès demain, j' arrête de fumer.
    Starting tomorrow I stop smoking.

Is the starting point in the past, then depuis is used. Also for the expression of a length of time depuis is the only possibility.

  depuis = since, for
Il fume depuis trente ans déjà.
    He has already smoked for 30 years.
  Depuis qu' il la connaît, il ne fume plus.
    Since he knows her, he does not smoke anymore.






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