Knowing when to use FOR and when to use SINCE is important. In English, we use the preposition ‘for’ to talk about an amount of time or space. We use ‘since’ to refer to a point of time. Since can refer to a point after a specific time or event in the past. We often get confused between the prepositions, for, and since, as both of these two are used to talk about how long the action continues. The words for and since are used in sentences where the speaker wants to talk about something that started in the past and continues into the present.
However, these two are different in the sense that ‘since’ is used when we are talking about a specific point in time, whereas ‘for’ is used when we discuss the duration of something. ‘Since’ gives the starting point of actions, events, or states. It refers to when things began. While ‘for’ represents a specific period or duration of time ‘since’ is used to denote a particular moment in time.
Difference between For and Since
- For is used to refers to the length of time (duration), an action takes place.
- Use for when you’re talking about an amount of time – how long something happens. Usually, you use it for a period of time.
- The word ‘for’ implies the intended purpose of an act, but when it comes to time, it shows the amount, extent, or duration of time something continues.
- Basically, ‘for’ is a function word (preposition) that indicates the desired objective. When for is used with respect to time, it refers to the period of time to express how long something persists.
- The word ‘for’ can be used with all the tenses.
- Example: She has moved to Delhi for seven years. The old lady waited for ages for her son to arrive.
- Since is used to refer a particular point in time, which emphasizes the beginning of an event, action, or a state.
- Use since to indicate the beginning of a time period until the present. ‘Since’ is used for the starting point of actions, events, or states of being.
- ‘Since’ is a preposition and adverb that refers back to a particular point in time in the past which results at the beginning of an event, action, or state.
- The word ‘since’ means ‘from then until now’, i.e. something that started in the previous time, but is continuing in the present. It expresses the initial point of an event, action, or state. It can be used as a preposition, conjunction, and adverb.
- When we use the word ‘since’ to refer to a particular time, the verb used in the main clause, is either in the present/past perfect tense or present/past perfect continuous tense. Further, since can never be used with the future tense
- Example: She has moved to Delhi since 2011. The old lady has been waiting for her son since 1990.