When talking about 'time', Since or For is one of those annoying English grammar issues that every student gets wrong sooner or later.
READ THE RULES BELOW AND THEN TAKE OUR MULTIPLE-CHOICE GRAMMAR QUIZ
I was speaking to a German friend the other night who is an excellent English speaker, but he made a since/for mistake 3 times in a 10 minute conversation.
This shows that it is essential to learn proper English grammar rules when you are a beginning the start of your English journey (beginner or pre-intermediate English student), because it can be very very difficult to correct grammar problems later on. For example, with my friend, because he is great at speaking English I did not want to correct his English. If I had told him he was making a basic grammar mistake he would have been embarrassed.
How do you use since or for???
- BASIC GRAMMAR RULE:
- Since + a point in time
- 'Point in time' Examples
- 10am, 14th February, last Wednesday, December, 2008
- For + a period of time
- 'Period of time' examples
- 30 seconds, 10 minutes, 2 weeks, 6 months, 5 years
MORE GRAMMAR DETAILS:
Since is normally used with the PERFECT grammar tenses, i.e. present perfect, present perfect continuous, past perfect continuous, future perfect etc
Look at the Examples:
- She has been sleeping since 2 o'clock. (Present perfect continuous)
- We haven't been on holiday since 2010. (present perfect)
- I went back to my hometown last week. I hadn't been there since I graduated. (Past perfect)
For can be used with ALL grammar tenses
- She studies for 8 hours a day just before the exams. (present simple)
- I lived in Manchester for 2 years. (Past simple)
- Can you believe that by this time next year, we will have been going out together for 7 years? (Future perfect continuous)
- I've been studying English for 8 years (present continuous)
Since v For Online Quiz
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Since vs For is included in our Common English mistakes video series (actually no#9).
1. Watch the COMMON ENGLISH MISTAKES video here
2. CLICK HERE TO DO THE FREE ONLINE SGI GRAMMAR TEST. It's free and it will give you an idea about your English level now in terms of grammar knowledge.