Is it appropriate to use "from" instead of "since" in reference to a specific date? Also, does it matter whether this date is in the past or future when considering the previous question?

For example, "Currently available from February 15th, the collectors edition includes many extra goodies."

  • 2
    The sentence is grammatical, but redundant. I would say either currently available or available from February 15th. I don't see any point in combining the two. (Whether you use from or since.) Mar 18, 2019 at 18:32

2 Answers 2

  • From:

From indicates the starting point of an action and is usually followed by another proposition (until, to, till...) that marks the end of the action.

I lived in Italy from 2001 to 2015;

She played tennis from 1987 until she broke her arm;

  • Since:

Since is used to talk about a specific point in time, it refers to an action started in the past that continues in the present, in fact is usually used with unfinished actions.

I lived in Italy since I was 1;

I have been working since yesterday;

So what are the main differences between since and from ?

  1. From can be used with any tense, since only with the perfect tenses;
  2. From is followed by other propositions; since (usually) isn’t;
  3. From is usually used to indicate a finished action; since refers to an unfinished action
  4. From can refer to actions in the future, since refers to an action that continues up to now.

In idiomatic U.S. English, people generally do not use "from" in the sense of "beginning [in or on]" in situations where the timing is open-ended (that is, in situations where the speaker or writer doesn't provide a close time to bookend the open time and thereby identify a date range of the form "from [time X] to (or until) [time Y]"). Idiomatic British English, on the other hand, seems to countenance such usage.

A website called Ludwig conveniently lists six examples—evidently quoted from different articles that have appeared in The Guardian over several years—of the particular usage I'm talking about:

New rates for 2014 will be available from next month.

The beta for Windows Phone of Skype will be available from today on Windows Phone.

A new three-year National Savings & Investments bond will be available from spring 2017.

The Apple Watch, which will be available from early next year, will combine health and fitness tracking, including heart rate monitoring, with communications.

The Gear S will be available from early October, though the price has yet to be announced.

This part of the scheme, which will be available from January 2014, will help you buy either a new or existing property.

Idiomatic U.S. English would replace "from" in each of these examples with "starting [or beginning]" or "starting [or beginning] in," depending on the particular future time specified. None of the cited examples involves a specific date, but if one had said for instance, "will be available from February 15, 2019," the idiomatic U.S. English equivalent would have been "starting [or beginning] on February 15, 2019."

A very different result occurs when the speaker or writer specifies a time range, as in the one example that Ludwig cites from the New York Times:

Owners will be granted 13 weeks of use a year, though no more than four weeks will be available from June to September; those who would like more time can purchase additional shares.

Here, because the statement includes both a starting time and an ending time, idiomatic U.S. English is perfectly comfortable with using the framing words "from X to Y."

I can't tell whether the example that the poster of the question here asks about means something like "Currently [scheduled to be] available [in the future] from February 15th, ..."—that is, approximately, in idiomatic U.S. English, "Currently scheduled to become available starting on February 15, ..."—or whether it means something (in idiomatic U.S. English) like "Currently available, as it has been since February 15, ..." If used in a future-directed sense, however, this wording presents an idiomatic form that is alien to most U.S. English speakers and writers, but is not infrequent among various British English speakers and writers with whom I communicate at the [international] consultancy where I work as an editor.

In any event, the trigger for this transatlantic difference is whether the future time that "from" introduces appears open-ended or as part of a defined time range.

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