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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #117860: For or since and their tenses
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Celebrations: Thanksgiving, new year... | For or since? | Clothes [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test : grammar for beginners - For, Since, During or Ago - Christmas party -Vocabulary - Clothes and accessories - Clothes - Saint Valentine's Day - Clothes and fashion - Merry Christmas!
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    For or since and their tenses

    Lessons test and test and exercise test were introducing   FOR  and SINCE, but the French version of the exercise wasn't translated. This one will be complete and the examples will be different, of course...    


    1)  Should we use FOR or SINCE? 

    - You must use FOR  to express a length of time;

    If  FOR is placed on a line representing the passing of time, the representation must be a segment.

     -----------------|-----|------------ > = for a day.

    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 2010



    >   = since 2010

                                                                        = since December 22 nd.



    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.

    - The Pierces have owned their mountain cabin for 10 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 ‘owning'.=> present perfect.)

                                for ten years

    -------------------|---------------------------X|>------------------- >




                        2008                           2018 

    - Connie's brother hasn't come to the family cabin for several years now.

    The absence of a visit from the brother started several years 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 :

    -  She's been learning how to ski for 4 years now and does 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, it snowed for a whole month.

                  =1 month


                      it                            Last                      Present 

                   snowed                    year                      moment.

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



    5) ... if the action (which lasted a certain length of time) happened in a distant past, and previously to another moment of the past: that length of time is expressed in  the past perfect (= HAD+  past participle)  [ to insist on the duration of the action, use the past perfect in –ing]

    - My grandma had been knitting for several weeks when she offered Patrick his new Christmas jumper. 

     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 present or in - ing).

    In the following exercise, we're going to deal with a "habit" which tends to develop itself in Anglo-Saxon countries: that of the typical and comfortable jumper picturing people and things which are the characteristics of the Holiday Season. It consists in having fun and laughing at these traditional jumpers, though acknowledging that they're very comfortable. At the same time, you give money to a Charity protecting underprivileged children.

    These jumpers, which are supposed to be "ugly", may, sometimes be quite pretty. Others are very bad taste or obscene.  Most share in the Spirit of the Season. 

    You'll have another batch at the end of the test. Good luck for it!  


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    1. My friend Sally had never heard of Christmas jumpers. I explained to her that nowadays, British people this new custom for tens of years (I was told...)

    2. Since the eighties (1980s), they say, parties and contests humourously making fun of typical Season’s jumpers in Anglo-Saxon countries.

    3. For weeks, when the end of the year was drawing near, grandmothers endlessly, knitting Season’s jumpers to offer their grandkids.

    4. The Season’s clichés on warm jumpers for years: Santas, trees, snowmen, deer, snow flakes etc.

    5. Grannie for hours when Sam arrived to choose her new jumper.

    6. Season’s kitschy jumpers for years, to have fun and pay tribute to the years when originality was a quality...

    7. For a decade, people a new way of giving to the poor thanks to these jumpers. You wear one and give £2 to a charity helping children.

    8. Since Y2K (2000), jumper day to exhibit all sorts of bright-coloured pull-overs of snow scenes.

    9. In December 2016, at Madame Tussauds, even the Royal Family their ' ugly ' festive jumpers for a month...

    10. Lucy her bright red Santa jumper since her grandma offered it. She thinks it’s fun.



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