Since and For

The correct usage of the words “since” and “for” is a problem for almost everyone. And the reason behind this is quite simple. The fact that both of the words have a similar meaning makes it hard for us to understand where to use these words.

The Correct Way of Using Since and For

Both, “Since” and “For”, define time or periods of time. This is the main reason behind the confusion with their usage. The words “Since” and “For” can be loosely understood as prepositions to explain time in a sentence for a given event or activity. One describes a specific point, whereas the other talks about a general period of time. Read on to find out more.

Since

The word “Since” is used to describe a specific period of time. When we use “since” is a sentence, we must remember that this word usually gives a starting point for a certain event or activity.

Examples:

  • Since the day I came to this town, I have enjoyed spending my evenings here.
  • Adam hasn’t been attending his classes since Friday.
  • Since joining the basketball club, I have sprained my ankle multiple times.

We can use the word since with “ever” too. However, that changes the meaning of the word by a certain degree. While “since” is generally used to pinpoint a starting point of an event, “ever since” lays emphasis on the happening of the event. “Ever since” is used to speak about a time which starts at some point in the past and continues to the present.

Examples:

  • Ever since I began going to college, I haven’t been able to sleep much.
  • Mr. Singh hasn’t been himself ever since his mother passed away.
  • My father doesn’t let me ride my bicycle ever since I met with an accident.

For

For”, is used to express the duration of time in a sentence. It usually speaks of a “general” period. It is added to a period of time, most of the times “for” is used for shorter periods of time unlike “since”. In other words, “for” is used to tell how long something lasts.

Examples:

  • I stayed in Nainital for only two days.
  • Lisa has taken a leave for a couple of days.
  • It rained continuously for a week.

Remember “for” is not used with terms such as “all day” and “all the time”.

To Summarize:

  • Since” and “For”, are used to express time or periods of time.
  • Since” is usually used to express longer durations of time.
  • It is also used for specific events and for a specific point of time in the past.
  • Ever since” is a variant of the “since”. It is used to emphasize on the continuation of an event which happened in the past to the present.
  • For” is used to express the duration of time for an event.
  • It is used for shorter periods of time.
  • Also, “for” is used for events which have happened in the near past.