Difference b/t Il y a and depuis...?

I thought I understood this topic, but now I'm not so sure... I thought that "Il ya" means ago, like "Il y a deux heures nous nageons" would mean we swam 2 hours ago" And then if you were still swimming, to say 'we've been swimming for 2 hours', then you'd say "Nous nageons depuis deux heures."

Problem is, I picked up a french grammar review book at the store today, and it has been really great so far, but they are confusing me on this topic. They are saying that:

"Il y a dix mois que je demande une augmentation" means I've been asking for a raise for 18 months." Doesn't it really mean I asked for a raise 18 months ago?

They are also saying that "Il y a deux ans que j'achete mes livres ici" means I've been buying my books here for two years, but I thought it would mean I bought my book there two years ago. Help?

1 Answer

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Il y a means "There is" in English. But it also can be "It has been...".

    Il ya 2 heures que nous nageons actually means: it has been 2 hours since we have been swimming. So "Il y a deux heures nous nageons" and

    "Nous nageons depuis deux heures" mean the same thing.

    "Il y a dix mois que je demande une augmentation" means : it has been 10 (not 18, 18 is dix-huit) months since i have started asking for a raise.

    "Il y a deux ans que j'achete mes livres ici" means It has been 2 years since i started buying my books here.

    Hope i helped!

    Source(s): i am a fluent French speaker. I go to a French high school/
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.