Difference between Since and For with Examples

Difference between since and for in detail

The words “since” and “for” are both used to indicate a duration of time, but they have slightly different meanings and uses.


“Since” is used to specify the starting point of a period of time or an event.

It is often used with a specific point in time, such as a date, year, or specific moment.

It focuses on the starting point and emphasizes the time that has passed since then.

Example: “I have been working here since 2010.” (It means the person started working in 2010 and has continued to work there until the present.)

Example: “I haven’t seen her since yesterday.” (The last time the person saw her was yesterday, and they haven’t seen her since then.)


“For” is used to indicate the duration of time that has passed or will pass.

It is often used with a specific period of time, such as minutes, hours, days, months, or years.

It focuses on the duration or length of time that has elapsed.

Example: “I have been waiting here for an hour.” (The person has been waiting for a duration of one hour.)

Example: “She has lived in that city for five years.” (She started living there five years ago, and she still lives there.)

In summary, “since” emphasizes the starting point of a period or event and is used with a specific point in time, while “for” emphasizes the duration of time that has passed and is used with a specific period of time.

In which tense we use Since and For?

The usage of “since” and “for” is not specific to a particular tense. Both words can be used in various tenses depending on the context and the intended meaning. Here are some examples of how “since” and “for” can be used in different tenses:

Present tense

“I have known him since we were children.” (Present perfect tense)

“She has been studying for three hours.” (Present perfect continuous tense)

Past tense

“He lived in that house for five years.” (Past simple tense)

“I hadn’t seen her since yesterday.” (Past perfect tense)

Future tense

“I will be away for the weekend.” (Future simple tense)

“She will have been working here for 10 years by next month.” (Future perfect tense)

It’s important to note that the tense used with “since” and “for” depends on the overall sentence structure and the verb tense being used.

The choice of tense should accurately reflect the relationship between the starting point (since) or the duration (for) and the action or event being described.

Where do we use Since?

The word “since” is used in various contexts to indicate the starting point of a particular period or event. Here are some common uses of “since”:

Time reference

“Since” is used to specify a specific point in time when something started happening.

Example: “I have been working here since 2010.” (The person started working in 2010.)

Example: “They have been dating since last summer.” (The dating started in the previous summer.)

Cause and effect

“Since” is used to introduce a reason or cause for something.

Example: “He couldn’t attend the meeting since he was sick.” (The reason for not attending the meeting was his illness.)

Example: “Since it’s raining, we should take an umbrella.” (The rain is the reason for taking an umbrella.)

Continuation of a situation

“Since” is used to express that a particular situation or condition has been ongoing from a past point until the present.

Example: “I haven’t seen her since yesterday.” (The person hasn’t seen her from the point of yesterday until now.)

Example: “They have been married since 2005.” (The marriage started in 2005 and continues until the present.)

As a conjunction

“Since” can function as a conjunction to introduce a subordinate clause that provides a reason or explanation.

Example: “Since you’re not feeling well, you should stay home.” (The subordinate clause “Since you’re not feeling well” explains the reason for staying home.)

Overall, “since” is commonly used to refer to a specific starting point in time or to introduce a cause-and-effect relationship.

Can Since be used in future tense?

Yes, “since” can be used in the future tense. In this case, it is used to refer to a starting point that will occur in the future. Here are some examples:

Future simple tense

“I will wait for you since tomorrow morning.” (The waiting will start in the future, specifically tomorrow morning.)

Future perfect tense

“By next week, I will have known him for five years.” (The duration of knowing him will reach five years in the future, specifically by next week.)

Future continuous tense

“They will be traveling since next month.” (The travel will commence in the future, specifically next month.)

In these examples, “since” is used to indicate the starting point of a future event or period. It shows that the action or state will begin at a specific point in time that lies ahead.

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