Once vs. Since

'Once' and 'since' are conjunctions but they are used in different contexts. In this lesson, we will learn their similarities and differences.

"Once" vs. "Since" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between 'once' and 'since' is that 'once' expresses time while 'since' expresses time and cause and effect.

Similarities and Differences

Parts of Speech

'Once' and 'since' have the same parts of speech. They are conjunctions. Conjunctions have three types and 'once' and 'since' are classified as subordinating conjunctions.
'Once' and 'since' are subordinating conjunctions of time.

Take a look at the following examples:

I will call you once I get there.

It was his first public appearance since three years ago.

Talking about Time

'Once' and 'since' are used to express time.

  • 'Once' is used to show that as soon as something happens, another action or event follows.

She got herself a Hotdog once she was out of the hospital.

She is a cool person once you get to know her.

  • 'Since' expresses an action that happened at one point in the past and continued happening until now (the present).

It has been two years since I first met him.

It has been so long since I have driven a car.

Talking about Cause and Effect

We use 'since' can be used to replace and mean 'because.' It can express cause and effect. Have a look:

He chose to walk since his house was close.

They decided to cancel the trip plan since no one was coming.

Are They Interchangeable?

The answer is no. If we replace 'once' and 'since' with each other the meaning of the sentence completely changes.

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