We use both for and since when talking about past time in English. As a learner of English, it can sometimes be confusing to know when to use 'for' or when to use 'since'.
So what is the difference between for and since?
Simply, we use for when we mention the length of time. For example, "I've been in Edinburgh for 3 days". We use since when we mention a specific point in time in the past. For example, "I've been here since Saturday afternoon."
Here are some common examples you might hear
Question: Have you worked at ECS long?
Answer: I've been here since 2012.
Question: How long did you live in Italy?
Answer: Oh, for about 2 years.
Question: What have you done since you left university?
Answer: Many things, I've worked in a bank, travelled and bought a house.
Watch the video and try the examples below.
- I've been a doctor _______ 15 years.
- We've been friends _______ 2012.
- They've lived in Edinburgh _______ March.
- I haven't seen Tom _______ last year.
- We've lived in Scotland ______ 5 years.
- I've been studying English _______ 10 years.