|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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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:
- I started working here 2 years ago.
- I’ve worked here for 2 years.
- I’ve worked here since 2018.
TIME WORDS & PHRASES
|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|
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