Communication skills in English can be enhanced by knowing the difference between mostly commonly mistaken words. One such pair is since and for. Both since and for are prepositions. But, they are not interchangeable.
- Since is used to denote a specific period of time in the past.
- I have been waiting here since 09:00 AM. (Present Perfect Continuous)
- The girl that cried had been waiting at the bus stop since 10:00AM. (Past Perfect Continuous)
- I have not seen him since his birthday. (Present Perfect Simple)
2. Since cannot be used with the Simple Past Tense. For Example: She went to Canada since 3 years. (Incorrect)
- For is used to denote a duration of time in the past, present, or future. For example:
- I went to Delhi for 3 weeks last summer. (Past)
- I am going to Delhi for 3 weeks. (Present)
- I will be going to Delhi for 3 weeks. (Future)
2. We can also use ‘for’ with undefined period of time. For example:
- I spoke to him for a long time.
- I will see her for the weekend.
3. For is not used with ‘all day’ and ‘all the time.’ For example:
Correct: I waited for her all day.
Incorrect: I waited for her for all day.
Let’s also remember that both, for and since have uses in English which do not revolve around time:
- He has got chocolates for you.
- Since you are in India, I will come to meet you.
Why should you know the difference between since and for?
Spoken English as well as your Business writing can look inaccurate if you end up using the incorrect preposition there. This might also adversely impact your credibility with your stakeholders at work.
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