I've come across this line in a movie:

Ever since she got her test results back, she'd get mad whenever someone asked her about it.

I've known about how "since" can only be used in present/past perfect tense but in this case, it's a conditional sentence.

Is it true that "since" is usable here? If not, how else should the sentence be rewritten?

  • I’m voting to close this question; it's based on a misconception. The conditional usage of 'would' is assumed here, when the habitual past usage is actually involved. See the habitual past usage of 'would' .... // 'She'd get mad whenever someone asked her about her test results, ever since she got them back.' Apr 14 '21 at 16:26
  • Ever since is a fixed phrase that refers only to the time since some past event; it has nothing to do with conditional/causative since meaning 'because', which is probly the source of this particular zombie rule. I'd never heard of it before, but who knows what nonsense lurks in the heart of English teachers? Ex ELU, semper aliquid nova. Sep 12 '21 at 16:09

The sentence makes sense and needs no alteration.

Since = from a particular time in the past until a later time, or until now

Cambridge dictionary

Hence, during the period that started when the results arrived and has continued until now, she has been in the state that she would get mad when asked about them. Her getting mad is conditional on being asked, and since merely defines the period during which she was in this state.

  • @user121863 yes she used to get mad when asked. But her getting mad depended on her being asked and was therefore still conditional on it.
    – Anton
    Nov 15 '20 at 8:20
  • We are straying from the question. I did not assert the verb itself to be conditional. I assert that the state of getting mad is conditional on being asked first. That is a correct viewpoint.
    – Anton
    Nov 15 '20 at 8:37
  • 1
    The question is: can since be used in a conditional sentence such as the one reported above? The fact is that the sentence is not a conditional one.
    – user 66974
    Nov 15 '20 at 9:24

Your sentence is not conditional, there is no hidden "if" anywhere. It is true that sometimes when can be used instead of if, but here you have whenever which means every/each time. This sentence speaks of a habitual situation in the past which started at a past moment marked by ever since. Therefore,

Ever since she got her test results back,

does not speak of a condition, but tells you when that past frequency started. The repeated action in the past is marked by would in the main clause

she'd [would] get mad

As for the rest of the sentence

whenever someone asked her about it.

shows you when or how often that action is repeated. What may have confused you is that the main clause has two time modifiers, one showing when the past situation started and another saying how often the action is repeated. Though the structure of the sentence may seem somewhat particular, it is nevertheless correct to mark different aspects of the past time with two time clauses.

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