For or Since

Objectives of today’s lesson:

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “For or Since”, in order for you to be able to answer the following questions:

  • where we use since and for
  • what tense we use with since
  • what is since and for in grammar?
  • what is the difference between period of time and at the point of time?

 

Video Script:

hello and welcome to today’s grammar video dedicated to time expressions or time prepositions: “for” and “since”.

You have most probably heard common mistakes such as:
“I know her for two years”* (I’m using the wrong tense here)
or
“I have known her since two years”* (I’m using the wrong preposition here) The correct sentence would be: “I have known her for two years” (I’m using the correct tense and the correct preposition)

So let’s review when to use “for” and “since” and then we will see a few hints for the classroom.

Let’s review “FOR” first of all. When do we use it? for a time expression we use it to indicate duration (when we’re looking at the length of an action from start to finish). This particular preposition can be used with any tense. So let’s read these examples using a variety of tenses.
For example:
“he had studied for two years” or “he’d studied for two years”
“he had been working there for one week”
“he had been working there for a week”
“I was there for 10 minutes”
“I was there for 10 minutes”
“The baby was sleeping for a while”
“The baby was sleeping for a while”
“He will be gone for a bit”
This sentence is a bit colloquial but you will hear it a lot.
“He will be gone for a bit”
and finally:
“She has been waiting” or “She’s been waiting for a long time”
That was length, duration.

Now let’s look at “since”. Here we focus on a point in time, on a moment in time. The action until now. We tend to use “since” with the perfect tenses. Let’s discover some examples together to illustrate that.

“Since 10 o’clock”
What could we say? We could say:
“She has been waiting since 10 o’clock”
“she’s been waiting since 10 o’clock”
“He has stopped smoking since December.”
“He’s stopped smoking since December”
“He had lived” or “He’d lived in that house since January 14th”
“He lived in that house since January 14th”
“They had not been speaking since that time.”
“They’d not been speaking since that time”
and finally:
“I haven’t seen her since the other day” or “I haven’t seen her since then”
“I haven’t seen her since the other day” or “I haven’t seen her since then”

I hope this lesson helps you understand when to use “for” and “since”.
Here are a few hints for you as a learner or as a teacher, for the classroom.
Don’t forget to review your tenses if any of this was confusing.
Do a review – it takes five minutes and it really helps.
Don’t forget that these prepositions are used to illustrate other meanings.
They can be used in other contexts.
Just a couple of random examples for you.
I could say:
“Is this bus for Victoria Station?”
“Is this bus for Victoria Station?”
So we’re not talking about time here we’re talking about direction, location.
I could say something like:
“Since you haven’t studied much you’ll be very stressed on the day of the exam”
“Since you haven’t studied much you’ll be very stressed on the day of the exam”
Here we are talking about cause and result.
Don’t forget to revise other time expressions.
Some learners are tempted to combine “for” and “ago”.
So you’ll hear things like: “for a week ago”*
So do revise the other time expressions so as to not confuse them with “for” and “since”: “ago”, “until”, “till”, “while”, “when”, etc.

 

Grammar Quiz:

 

Keywords listed in English:

  • for
  • to
  • since
  • ago
  • while
  • when
  • until / till


Back to the Course Index

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.