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  • For and Since – What is the difference? [examples + exercises]

    A lot of our students have trouble understanding the difference between for and since.

    It’s easy to see why. Ask any native English speaker (who doesn’t happen to be an ESL or EFL teacher) and it will probably take them a few minutes to explain the difference.

    The Difference between Since and For

    Here’s the main difference explained simply:

    For tells the duration of something.

    Since is used to indicate when something began.

    When to use For – with Examples

    For tells the duration of something.

    We use it with a quantity of time. So you can say:

    • I have lived here for a long time.
    • I lived in Argentina for a few years.
    • I have been an English teacher for 10 years.

    When to use Since – with Examples

    We use it with the name of a time.

    • I have lived here since I was born.
    • I haven’t been to Mexico since 1998.
    • I have been teaching English since 2006.

    Grammar Exercises for For and Since:

    1. I have lived here ___ six years.
    2. I have lived here ____ 2005.
    3. We’ve been friends ____ we first met.
    4. We’ve been friends ___ a long time.

    Find the answers at the bottom of the article. If you had trouble with those, review the information at the top again, then try the next section.

    1. I haven’t had a beer ____ this morning!
    2. I’ve been drinking beer ___ four hours.
    3. They have been drinking beer ___ 10 this morning.
    4. Have you been home ____ you finished school?
    5. Have you been home ___ 4 hours?

    Ok, here are the answers below. Still having trouble? Schedule an English class with LOI.

    Want to keep learning? Read our lessons on English phrasal verbs and English Idiomatic Expressions.

    Section 1:

    1. For
    2. Since
    3. Since
    4. For

    Section 2:

    1. Since
    2. For
    3. Since
    4. Since
    5. For