For/Since

Introduction

We often use for and since with the present perfect, but they are no the same. Here we explain the difference between for and since in English.

Mr and Mrs Clarke are visiting Berlin.

They haven’t been to Berlin since 2005. They wanted to see if the city has changed.

They have been in Berlin for 3 days and they plan to stay there for a week.

Advertisement

For + Period of Time

  • We use for to talk about the duration of an action. We can use for in different tenses (present, past, perfect, future).
Example:
They have been in Berlin for 3 days.
  • For is followed by an amount of time e.g. an hour, 2 days, 10 years.
Example:
They plan to stay in Berlin for a week.

You might be intereseted in the difference between for/ago.

Since + Point in Time

  • We use since with the present perfect to show when an action began.
Example:
They have been in Berlin since Friday.
  • Since is followed by specific time refernce e.g. Monday, 8 o’clock, 1998.
Example:
They haven’t been to Berlin since 2005.