Teach and Learn English

Since and For

Some time ago I wrote about Present Perfect tense. One of the difficulties students often face when they learn Present Perfect is how to tell the difference between FOR and SINCE.





FOR + period of time




You use FOR when you want to say for how long something has been going on:

I've learned English for two years.
Uczę się angielskiego przez dwa lata (od dwóch lat).

I've lived in Warsaw for 10 years.
Mieszkam w Warszawie przez 10 lat (od 10 lat).

Susan's worked in this company for a long time.
Susan pracuje w tej firmie od dawna.

In Polish we would say then - przez or (unfortunately) od

FOR can be used with other tenses than Present Perfect as well:

I lived in Spain for a year. (Past Simple, because I don't live there anymore)
I go on holiday for two weeks every summer. (Present Simple, because it's a regular activity)
It will rain for the next two days. (Future Simple, because it's a prediction)





SINCE + starting point




You use SINCE when you want to say since when something has been going on:

I've learned English since 2010.
Uczę się angielskiego od 2010.

I've lived in Warsaw since September.
Mieszkam w Warszawie od września.

Susan's worked in this company since she graduated from college.
Susan pracuje w tej firmie od kiedy ukończyła college.

In Polish we would say odSINCE is similar to FROM.

SINCE can also mean AS or BECAUSE:

Since I had finished work earlier, I went home.
Jako, że skończyłem pracę wcześniej poszedłem do domu.

Mark has been fired since he was late for work every day.
Marek został wyrzucony z pracy ponieważ spóźniał się codziennie.

SINCE can also be used with other tenses:

She doesn't visit as so often since her marriage. (Present Simple, because it's a regular activity)

She said she had lived there since 1994. (Past Perfect, because I'm talking about something that happened before she said it)

It's a long time since the last meeting.

It's ages since our last get-together.





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