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For or Since?

Average: 4 (141 votes)

How would you answer this question?

"How long have you been learning English?"

"I have been learning English for ___."
"I have been learning English since ___."

For and since can be used when talking about time in present perfect sentences (for can be used with all tenses).

When to use For

For is used with a duration (length) of time. Use for with how long the action has been happening.

"I have lived here for three years" - Three years is the duration/length of time.
"Our flight was delayed for two hours." - Two hours is the duration/length of time.
"We've been living here for a long time." - A long time is the duration/length of time.

When to use Since

Since is used with a starting point. Use since with the time when the action started.

"I have lived here since 2009." - 2009 is the starting point.
"They've all been in a meeting since 11am." - 11am is the starting point.
"She's been sleeping since last night." - Last night is the starting point.

Now complete these sentences with either for or since:

  • 1 - We've been waiting for the train ___ noon.

  • 2 - I haven't seen them ___ last week.

  • 3 - I've been working here ___ the beginning of the year.

  • 4 - She's been sick ___ over a week.

  • 5 - He's been learning English ___ a long time.

  • 6 - I've been working in this bank ___ I graduated university.

  • 7 - My daugher has been playing piano ___ she was ten years old.

  • 8 - You've been studying ___ three hours.

  • 9 - He's lived in this apartment ___ he was a young man.

  • 10 - She can run ___ two hours without a break.

  • 11 - I haven't seen any of them ___ I was in the army.

  • 12 - The rain lasted ___ over five hours.

  • 13 - I haven't slept ___ hours.

  • 14 - ___ when have your parents let you borrow their car?

  • 15 - We haven't been to the cinema __ ages.