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For & Since with Present Perfect Tense

We often use for and since with the present perfect tense.

  • We use for to talk about a period of time - 5 minutes, 2 weeks, 6 years.
  • We use since to talk about a point in past time - 9 o'clock, 1st January, Monday.
for since
a period of time a point in past time

20 minutes 6.15pm
three days Monday
6 months January
4 years 1994
2 centuries 1800
a long time I left school
ever the beginning of time
etc etc

Here are some examples:

  • I have been here for 20 minutes.
  • I have been here since 9 o'clock.
  • John hasn't called for 6 months.
  • John hasn't called since February.
  • He has worked in New York for a long time.
  • He has worked in New York since he left school.
For can be used with all tenses. Since is usually used with perfect tenses only.

Now check your understanding »

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