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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #108718: For/Since: second step...
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Speaking | For or since? [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test : grammar for beginners - On the phone - Interacting with someone - For, Since, During and Ago - Dialogue : What time...? - Eating out-Vocabulary - Differences between Like and As - One/ They/ People....
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    For/Since: second step...

    1) Reminder of the test  of introduction to  FOR  and  SINCE :

    - FOR  is used to express a duration (or length of time);

    If  FOR is placed on a line representing the passing of Time, it must be a segment;   -------------------------|----------|------------> = for a week.


    - SINCE is used to express the starting point of an action or to give precise date:

    It is 'a point' on the line of Time    ---------X------------------------------------->  = since 2001


    2) Once  the  choice is made between FOR and SINCE, the real difficulty consists in determining the tense and form (simple or in –ing) of the verb.

    FOR  and  SINCE may be connected to the past, and sometimes to the present too.

    ex : He has known her for 5 years. 

    (This sentence shows a length of  time=> for ; the action which started in the past  –  5 years ago –  is going on in the present. It is the assessment of the action of ‘knowing'.=> present perfect.)

                                                               for five years


                                              2010                                              moment                                                                                         




    ex : Her brother hasn't written to her for several months.

    The absence of mail started several months ago, and is going on in the present. Once again, it is the assessment of an action => present perfect.


    3)  If we want to insist on the fact that the action has been lasting for some time and  is going on in the present.  we have to use the  present perfect in –ing, with for or with since :

    ex :  She's been learning French for 7 years now and speaks quite well ! 


    4)  FOR and SINCE can also mention actions happening in the past  only. Then, they have no links with the present. : 

    ex : Last year, he was ill for a whole month.

                  1 month


                   he was                   Last                         Present 

                   ill                     year                                moment.


    The action which started in the past, was finished in the past  too. In the present, it's 'simply' a memory... The tense you have to use then, is obviously the simple past .

     Therefore, you must try to forget the frequent 'summary' consisting in saying:

    [**For and Since, are always used with the present perfect]: IT'S WRONG! On the contrary, it's true  that they're never used with a present.(simple or in - ing).



    Come on, now !  Make sure you have memorized all the important distinctions between the different uses... and GO FOR IT!    


    English exercise "For/Since: second step..." created by here4u with The test builder
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    1) How long have you been skiing? You're a real Champ!
    - I skiing I could walk, in 2005.
    2) What! Really? lessons such a long time?
    3) In fact, I lessons with a coach a few weeks only, when I was four.
    4) skiing more than a few months?
    5) Alas, I skiing a whole season, last year, when my right hand was broken.
    6) I roller- skating only one hour. Doing so, I fell down and broke my hand! Stupid me...
    7) I doing roller- skating that stupid accident!
    8) My grandfather roller-skating 11 years, from seven to eighteen!
    9) Now, I to stick to skiing only the rest of my life!
    10) I tried skating, I even more... I wish I could become a pro ...

    End of the free exercise to learn English: For/Since: second step...
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