Certain words in English sound similar or have similar meanings so they can be confusing. In fact, many language learners confuse these words as they are very similar. We are going to explain the difference between FOR or SINCE so that you do not make the same grammatical mistakes.

 

For: for + duration of time

For is used in the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous when talking about time.

I have been living in Spain for 9 years.

I usually work for 9 to 12 hours a day.

I have had my car for 3 years now.

 

Fixed phrases:

For a long time = for ages

For ever = for life

For example = for instance

For a while = for quite a long time

For a change = to make a change

For sale = be on sale

For a walk = take a walk

For nothing = be a useless act

For once = for one time

For a moment = for a short period of time

 

Since: since + a point in time

Since is used in the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous when talking about time.

 

I have worked here since 2014.

I have been playing the piano since 4 months ago.

I have been trying to find a job since last month.

 

Fixed phrases:

Since then = since a certain point in time

Ever since = throughout the period since

Since when = used to show surprise or annoyance

Since the beginning = from the start of something

 

To use grammatically correct English, it is essential to know the difference between these similar words, for more information see one of our courses.

 

Practice questions:

  1. Have you been living in the same city since birth?
  2. Have you been learning English for a long time?
  3. Since when have you had your favourite shoes?
  4. Have you been working in the same job for a long time?
  5. Have you been learning English ever since you were a kid?

 

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