Main Difference – Since vs For
Since and for are two prepositions that are often used to describe a time period. Both these prepositions indicate how long an action has been taking place for. However, there is a slight difference between since and for based on their usage. For is used to talk about a period of time. Since, on the other hand, is used to talk about a specific point in time. This is the main difference between since and for. In addition, the preposition since can only be used with perfect tenses, but for can be used with almost all the tenses.
This article covers,
1. What Does Since Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage
2. What Does For Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage
3. Difference Between Since and For – Comparison of Grammar and Usage
What Does For Mean
For is used to indicate the duration of an action – it measures for how long the action has been taking place. For is always used with a period of time. This period of time can be general (a few months) or specific (six months). This preposition can also be used with all tenses. Look at the following examples to understand the usage clearly.
I have been waiting for three hours.
She has been working there for six years.
He will live in Rio for two years.
The little boy talked about dinosaurs for the entire trip.
Alice has lived in this house for twenty-five years.
They have been married for six months.
We haven’t seen him for some time.
She waited for a long time, but there was no reply.
What Does Since Mean
Since is used to talk about a specific point in time. It usually refers to the beginning or starting point of actions, events or states. However, since can only be used with perfect tenses. Look at the following examples to further understand the usage.
I have been living here since I was born.
She has been working as a nurse since 2011.
It’s been two years since I last saw you.
He has been waiting for you since 7’o clock.
It has been twelve years since the tsunami.
He has been living in Amsterdam since last year.
Liz has suffered from depression since she was fifteen.
It was the most destructive human conflict since the second world war.
Difference Between Since and For
Since is used with a specific point in time.
For is used with a period of time.
Since can only be used with perfect tenses.
For can be used with all the tenses.
Since usually refers to the beginning of a time period.
For refers to the whole duration of the time.
Since refers to a specific point in time.
For can refer to either a general or specific time period.
Image Courtesy: PEXELS