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English Grammar – How to Remember the Difference Between For and Since

The Difference Between For and Since

This week our intern, Alice, has written a really useful English tip: I would like to share a tip with you which my English teacher at school told me when I was learning English. I think it’s a really useful way to remember the difference between FOR and SINCE.

So here is it, enjoy!

FOR and SINCE are two prepositions to express how long an action has been taking place for.

“Andy Murray has been a professional tennis player for 8 years.”
“Wimbledon has been taking place in London since 1877.”

However, they are not used in the same way. We have to differentiate between FOR and SINCE:

Use FOR to express a period of time.

Trick to remember it:
You see the line on the letter F?…Imagine it with an arrow. It looks like a timeline, doesn’t it?
The action has been happening for a period of time…so we can imagine it on a timeline.

Difference Between For and Since, FOR

“I’ve been living in London for 10 years.”
“I’ve been studying English in London for three weeks now.”
(’10 years’ and ‘3 weeks’ are periods of time.)

Use SINCE to talk about a specific point in time.

Trick to remember it:
You see the dot on the letter i?…Imagine now that it’s the beginning of the action. This moment is specific and short, just like doing a dot on a letter i!

difference between since and for, SINCE

Examples of the difference between FOR and SINCE:
“I’ve been living in London since 2003.”
“I’ve been learning English at Bloomsbury International since the beginning of May.”
(‘2003’ and ‘the beginning of May’ are points in time.)

Tennis news

I hope this tip is going to be useful for you too! And please let me know if you have any other useful English language tips like this that you would like to share!
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the biggest event taking place in London this week – it is, of course, Wimbledon! Whether you like tennis or not, it’s impossible to ignore this incredible tournament!a man playing tennis

It’s been a very exciting tournament so far with so many shocks! Can you believe that Nadal and Federer are already out? This means that Andy Murray’s chances of winning are increasing every day! If he wins this year, he will be the first man from Great Britain to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry won in 1936! He’s been playing so well this year so I think he has a really good chance – come on Andy!! Who are you supporting at Wimbledon this year?

Have fun with English

Complete these sentences with for or since.

1. I usually study English _____ 3 hours every day.

2. We’ve been married _____ March last year.

3. I’ve been at work _____ 7am this morning.

4. He’s been working at the bank _____ a long time.

5. She’s been learning French _____ she was 6 years old.

6. I’ve been reading this article _____ 45 minutes and I still don’t understand it!

7. I’ve had this car _____ about 2 years.

8. I haven’t spoken to her _____ Christmas.

9. He’s been smoking _____ he started university.

10. I’ve been studying at Bloomsbury International _____ 9 months and now my English is perfect!

Last week’s answers

Here is the answer for the black cab wordsearch from 7th June. Sorry for the delay!

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