When to Use "For" Instead of "Since"?
Posted by Issa and Published on Jun 16, 2012
ESL learners are often unable to decide when to use for instead of since. Take a quick look at these sentences:
- INCORRECT: Susie has been here since ten days.
- CORRECT: Susie has been here for ten days.
- INCORRECT: That house has been empty since three months.
- CORRECT: That house has been empty for three months.
Both for and since can be used with a present perfect to talk about duration up to the present, that is, to say how long something lasts. However, for is followed by the period of time; since is followed by the starting point of time.
for + period of time
- I trust him. I've known him for more than five years.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa has been saved for another 300 years according to its engineers.
- How long have you been here for? I've been here for six hours.
since + starting point
- Regina's songs have been used in various TV programs and movies since 2005.
- They have held rights to the book since the early 1970s.
- I have not seen any of them since that evening.