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Common Error: "Since" vs. "For"

Good evening, and welcome to Trouble Tuesday! We’re back tonight with an error that many students make when talking about things that happened in the past. Let’s take a look:

Common Error: “Since” vs. “For
DON’T say this: She’s lived in San Jose since 15 years.
I only have 5 months at my new job.
WHY? For and Since can both be used to refer to activities that started in the past and continue today, but each word is used a little differently:
-Use since if you mention when the activity started.
-Use for if you mention the period of time that has passed or will pass.

The second incorrect example above is wrong because you can generally not “have” time. In this case, you’d have to re-phrase the sentence (see below).

Note: Both since and for can generally be used with any tense except the simple present tense.

INSTEAD, SAY THIS: -“She has lived in San Jose for 15 years.” 
OR “She has lived in San Jose since 1997.”
-“I have only been working at my new job for 5 months.”
OR “I have only been working at my new job since December.”

So, this error isn’t actually that complicated to fix, right? If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact us. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
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"Semana Santa"/"Holy Week" Comment

One Comment

  1. Anastasio
    On June 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm Reply

    Hallo … Sehr gute Lektion … Er war nicht klar, was war der Einsatz….

    All the best.
    Anastasio.

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