FOR + period of time many tenses
SINCE + point in time Present Perfect (& other Perfect Tenses)
AGO + past or finished time Simple Past (& other Past Tenses)


Since is used to mean from a point in time in the past up to now.   As since connects a past time to the present time, it is generally used with the Present Perfect Tense.  Note that since is place before time words and phrases.

Example sentences:

  • I’ve lived in this city since 2010.
  • I’ve had my phone since Christmas.
  • He’s been sick since last week.
  • I haven’t eaten anything since yesterday.
  • I’ve become more careful since I had an accident.


For is used to show a period of time.  Because it is a period of time, for can be used with many tenses.  Note that for is placed before the time phrase.

Example sentences:

  • I work for 8 hours every day.
  • I’ve worked for 3 hours so far to day.
  • I will go on holiday for 2 weeks tomorrow.
  • I’ve had my phone for 2 years.
  • I’ve lived in this city for 20 years.

infographic for since ago


Ago is used for a past time or finished time.  For this reason, ago is used with the Past Simple Tense.  Note that when ago is placed after the time phrase.

Example sentences:

  • I finished my homework two minutes ago.
  • I left school 2 years ago.
  • Five years ago, I didn’t speak any English.
  • When did you arrive in Italy? 3 days ago.

Compare the following sentences:

  1. I started working here 2 years ago.
  2. I’ve worked here for 2 years.
  3. I’ve worked here since 2018.


2 years, 5 days, 3 hours, 9 week, 10 months 10 o’clock, yesterday, January 2 years, 5 days, 3 hours, 9 week, 10 months
a long time last week / year / month a long time
a while some time
some time my birthday not long / just a minute
ages Christmas / Worker’s Day ages
hours / weeks / months / years I was born hours / weeks / months / years
many hours / many years childhood many hours / many years

Since, For & Ago Exercises.

More Prepositions of Time Exercises

Click here to watch a video

  Time Words With The Present TensesSince, For, Until, From, To   


Share this Post

Leave a Reply