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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #108706: For/Since: first step ...
For/Since: first step ...
One of the English learners' 'bugbears' is most certainly the construction of temporal sentences expressing an action which has a duration: these dreaded constructions needing FOR or SINCE .
Choosing between one or the other is often quite tricky for foreigners…
Then, it may be quite difficult for some, to understand 'the value (the meaning) of the expression' . Let's try to understand !
1) FOR expresses a length of time, a duration;
ex : a week; 8 days; two years; forever, etc. If you have to try to place ‘FOR' on the line of Time, it will be a line segment.
---|---|------------> = for a week. -------|------------------|----------> = for 2 months
2) SINCE expresses the starting point of an action or give a precise date :
ex : May 15 th; the holidays; yesterday ; last January, etc. If you have to try to place 'SINCE' on the line of Time, it will be a point on the line.
---------X------------> = since 2001 ---------------------X-----------------> since Jan. 1st.
Being able to make a distinction between FOR and SINCE is already a prerequisite (or preliminary requirement) in order to be able to build these constructions correctly. That's why I have decided to develop more, and make a special lesson AND a special test about the point that was, at first, supposed to be only the first part of a lesson!
ex : ??? yesterday= since yesterday ??? 6 in the morning= since 6 a.m
??? six hours= for 6 hours ??? 5 months= for 5 months
Good luck !
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