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I've read that the second option (It's days since ...) is correct, but being an ESL learner I don't understand at all why this is so. Does anyone know? Thanks!

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The problem is that 's can be either is or has. Both of these are proper.

It has been [five] days since ...

It is [five] days since ...

The former tracks the actual time passing, the other states the measure across time (parallel to "It is miles from one city to the other".)

The latter is less common, and sounds a bit "British" to some ears.

But they go with opposites that are more clear

I will be [five] days until ...

It is [five] days until ...

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