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Unit 1.2

Present Perfect – Since, For


Prepositions are small words that are related to another element in the sentence. They are essential because they provide additional details about the sentence by locating events, people, and objects in place and time.

To locate an event in a time frame and add information about its duration, we use the prepositions since and for.

The prepositions since and for have the same general purpose but have a different connotation:

Since is used before a starting point while for is used before a period.


  • I have studied Dutch since 2011.
  • I’ve known her since 2006.
  • She has attended the Spanish course since January.


  • I have studied Dutch for 4 years.
  • I’ve known her for ten years.
  • She has attended the Spanish course for three months.

We usually use “since” to express the exact starting point of an event (last year, 1996, I arrived etc.). Since specifies the exact moment in which an action started (short – specific point).

We usually use “for” to talk about the period of time in which an event took place (2 years, 6 weeks, 10 days etc.). The event expressed with “for” is still effective in the present time of the conversation, expresses the length of a period (timeline).

Prepositions can help us provide additional information about the sentence. Since and for help to locate an event in a time frame and add information about its length.

  • Since is used to express the exact present or past starting point of an event. It is used before the starting point in the sentence;
  • For is used to express the length of a period that is still going on. It is used before a period in the sentence.

For example:
— “I’ve been a fireman since 2000.” = We use since because we express the starting date of the action.
— “I’ve been a fireman for 16 years.” = We use for because we express the length of the action.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.


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