This post looks to solve once and for all of your issues with FOR and DURING. This is a common mistake, especially for Spanish speakers who are learning English. The best tip I can offer is to follow these simple tips to make sure that you never confuse them again.
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We use both for and during to talk about something that happens, they are to make reference that something occurs inside a time period. The easiest way to work out the difference between FOR and DURING is to remember two key points:
FOR is used + duration of time, for example:
I have been learning English for 6 months.
Not: during 6 months
He has been working here for 12 years.
Not: during 12 years
I have been reading this blog for 17 minutes.
Not: during 17 minutes
During is used + name of a time period:
He works during the week.
Not: for the week
I have been relaxing during the summer holidays.
Not: for the summer holidays
We clean the terrace during spring.
Not: for spring
Collocations (examples) with FOR:
Account for – explain, cause
Apply for – put yourself forwards as a candidate
Act for – do something in the name of
Aim for – try to hit a target
Answer for – respond in the name of
Apologise for – say sorry for
Head for – go towards
Substitute for – exchange for
Be responsible for – be in charge of
Bargain for – expect to get
Argue for – give reasons for
Fixed expressions with FOR:
For a long time
For my part
FOR in the expression of purpose:
We can use FOR + ing to express purpose, but when we are talking about the function of an object, for example:
We use a corkscrew for opening wine bottles.
We can also use to open
Cutlery is used for eating at mealtimes.
We can also use to eat
The final thing to talk about is the use of FOR and SINCE. FOR as mentioned earlier is used + duration of time; differently SINCE is used + a point in time, for instance:
I have lived in Spain since 2009
Not: for 2009
However, we can use SINCE + duration + ago
I have been living here since 11 years ago.
The important thing is to look to practice the use of FOR and DURING through their use. That way you will consolidate them much better. And of course, do not confuse FOR and SINCE.