Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions: for, since and ago In English

by Jan 6, 2020English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

English Grammar Rules, Explanation, and Examples

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Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

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Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

How to ask questions politely using could, would and may FOR, SINCE or AGO? Prepositions of Time – English Grammar

 

 

 

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Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions: for, since and ago in English

Asked by @ Fabrice Mbaya Mbala (Community English Student)

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

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Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago  @ Thank you for your question, Fabrice Mbaya Mbala.

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

 

 

1.  What is the difference between for and since?

2.  FOR with present perfect and past tenses

3.  When to use “ago”?

4.  Common mistakes with since, for and ago.

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

FOR SINCE AGO explanation

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions: for, since and ago in English

 

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago

 

 

Daily grammar lesson with Elo Kasia. Learn how to confusing time prepositions: for, since and ago In English.

 

 

For, since and ago are English prepositions related to time. Unfortunately, they are often confused by English learners and used improperly in sentences.

 

It is important to remember that they are often associated with certain tenses and can help you decide which tense to use. In other cases, however, we need to be careful as some of them can be used in multiple tenses.

 

I will first explain the most common usage of these prepositions with certain tenses and then look at some exceptions.

 

Since is used with present perfect or present perfect continuous.
 
 
Ago is used with past simple
 
 
For is the most flexible and can be used with most tenses, most commonly present perfect and continuous, past simple and continuous,
present simple and future.

 

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago  What is the difference between for and since?

 

Both for and since are used very often with present perfect and continuous to talk about actions that started in the past and continue into the present.

 

The main difference is that “for” expresses duration of an action, a period of time (such as X hours, days, months, years, centuries, etc.) and “since” is used when we talk about a starting point in the past, after which the action continues into the present (for example: a specific day (or time of day), month, year, decade, century, etc.). It can also be used with such specific expressions relating to the past as “since I was a child”, “since we got married”, “since I started the job”, etc.

 

Examples of usage of FOR:

 

  • I’ve been waiting here for 2 hours.
  • I haven’t seen him for 3 days.
  • They’ve lived in the town for 6 months.
  • Samuel has worked for the company for 10 years.
  • The family has owned this estate for centuries.

 

Examples of usage of SINCE:

 

  • I haven’t visited my parents since last Sunday.
  • It has been raining since morning.
  • We haven’t spoken since yesterday.
  • My uncle has been living in America since 1985.
  • They’ve been friends since the 1970s.
  • The country has been occupied since the 19th century.
  • I haven’t had a pet since I was a child.
  • We’ve lived in this house since we got married.
  • I haven’t had a pay rise since I started this job.
  • I haven’t stopped thinking of you since the day we first met.

 

As you can see, both since and for can both be used with the present perfect tenses (both simple and continuous), however, “since” cannot be used with other tenses since it refers to an action which started at a specific past point and continues until now. “For” is much more flexible and can be used with most tenses, as it refers to a duration of time.

 

Examples of FOR with other tenses:

 

Present:
I usually go swimming for an hour. (habits)
You boil an egg for eight minutes. (facts)
 
 
Past:
 
They lived there for 5 years. (past, completed action)
He was waiting for her for 10 years. (past, completed action)
They had been driving for hours before they got to the hotel. (past action which took place before another action)
 
 
Future:
 
I am going to Spain for 2 weeks. (future plans)
I will only wait for 5 minutes.

 

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago  FOR with present perfect and past tenses

 

Many students are confused by the difference in usage between “for” in these two tenses. The main difference is that in the past simple (or continuous) the action is always finished whereas in the present perfect (or continuous) it continues into the present (or has just finished).

 

Compare:

 

  • They lived here for 10 years. from 2005-2015, they no longer live here)
  • They’ve lived here for 10 years. (=from 2009-2019, they are still living here)
  • You can express the same idea with the continuous tenses:
  • They were living here for 10 years. (completed)
  • They’ve been living here for 10 years. (still here)

 

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago  When to use “ago”?

 

Ago is used when talking about an action which happened in the past in relation to the present moment. It is used with (x) minutes, hours, months, years, decades, centuries, etc. It is only used with past tenses. We focus on how much time passed between the action in the past and now. It can NEVER be used with the perfect tenses.

 

Examples of usage of AGO

 

  • I saw him 5 minutes ago.
  • I finished my homework 2 hours ago.
  • We visited our relatives 6 months ago.
  • They moved to Italy 20 years ago.
  • The TV was invented decades ago.
  • Slavery was abolished centuries ago.
  • It happened a long time ago.

 

 

Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago  Common mistakes with since, for and ago.

 

They have lived in France since two years ago. à They have lived in France for two years. Or They have lived in France since 2017. (now it is 2019). Or They moved to France two years ago.

 

Remember:

 

– ago and since/for cannot be used in the same sentence
– ago is only used in past tenses (not perfect)
– since is used with a specific day or date (not a period of time)

 

 

Check my other articles here: All English Time Ask Elo – Learning Articles

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Learn how to use confusing time prepositions for since and ago Want to learn how to confusing time prepositions for since and ago?

 

 

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