# For and Since for Time

We lived there for five years.

He has been away since Tuesday.

He has been away since Tuesday.

We often use *for* and *since* when talking about time.

**for**** + period**: a "period" is a duration of time - five minutes, two weeks, six years. *For* means "from the beginning of the period to the end of the period".

**since**** + point**: a "point" is a precise moment in time - 9 o'clock, 1st January, Monday. *Since* means "from a point in the past until now".

Look at these examples:

fora period from start to end |
sincea point from then to now |
---|---|

>===< | x===>| |

for 20 minutes for three days for 6 months for 4 years for 2 centuries for a long time for ever |
since 9am since Monday since January since 1997 since 1500 since I left school since the beginning of time |

all tenses | perfect tenses |

## for

*For* can be used with all tenses. Here are a few examples:

- They study for two hours every day.
- They are studying for three hours today.
- He has lived in Bangkok for a long time.
- He has been living in Paris for three months.
- I worked at that bank for five years.
- Will the universe continue for ever?

We do not use *for* with "all day", "all the time":

- I was there all day. (
*not*~~for all day~~)

## since

*Since* is normally used with perfect tenses:

- He has been here since 9am.
- He has been working since he arrived.
- I had lived in New York since my childhood.

We also use *since* in the structure "It is [period] since":

- It was a year since I had seen her.
- How long is it since you got married?

Both

*for*and*since*also have other meanings, with no reference to time. Here are some examples:- This is
*for*you. - Is this the train
*for*London? *Since*you ask, I'll say yes.*Since*he didn't study, he didn't pass the exam.