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Focus Grammar
Description Difference between FOR, SINCE and FROM to talk about time.
Instructions Click on the words at the bottom and drag them into the empty boxes of the sentence to complete it.
Gapped text Items
The shops are open ______________________ 9 to 3 from / for / since / --
It's been raining ______________________ 3 o'clock -- / since / for
She had been looking for him ______________________ the day before, but she didn't find him until she put that message on the radio. since / for / from
This shop has been open ______________________ two years now since / for / from
I haven't seen you ______________________ last Christmas. Where have you been? since / from / for
This car has been having problems ______________________ we bought it since / for / from
I have known her only ______________________ three days for / since / from
Wait ______________________ a minute, I'll be right back. -- / from / since
This school will be closed ______________________ June 28th. Then we will open again in September. for / since / from
When you arrived, she had been crying ______________________ hours from / since / for
I haven't seen you ______________________ years! since / for / from
I've known her ______________________ my birthday since / for / --
We have lived here ______________________ 2005 -- / since / for
Mike will come to live here ______________________ next Saturday since / from / for
I was at home ______________________ 5 to 7, then went away until 10 since / for / from
This shop has been open ______________________ last May -- / for / since
The bridge had been closed ______________________ one hour, but when we arrived there it was open. for / from / since
This car has been having problems ______________________ a few months, it's time to buy a new one. from / for / since
You will have your own office ______________________ next month since / from / for
It's been raining ______________________ weeks from / for / since
Total number of items: 20
This is an activity from Multimedia-English

FOR + period expresses duration (HOW LONG?)
SINCE + starting point says when the action began (SINCE WHEN?)
1- I've known her for three days (for how long? for three days)
2- I've known her since last summer (since when? since last summer)

- Now it's April, so I've been living here for three months
- Now it's April, so I've been living here since February

We can use FOR with any tense, but when we express duration from the past up to the present (past and present action) we use FOR with a present perfect, not a present tense. FOR with a present tense expresses duration from the present up to the future.

- Mike is here for two weeks (= He will be here for two more weeks starting today)
- We'll go to Rome for three days
- I've lived here for three years  (not: I live here for three years)
- She's been studying for five hours, tell her to have a break

In informal conversation we often leave out FOR

- I've been waiting for you (for) two hours!
- She has worked only (for) three hours today

SINCE is usually used with present perfect but it can also be used with any past tense depending on the situation. It expresses that the action began at that moment and continued up to the present (or the past time we are talking about):

- We have been married since 1998  (since 1998 until now)
- They bought the car last month. They had been comparing prices since Tom's birthday.  (since Tom's birthday until they bought the car)
- I've been waiting for you since 7 o'clock!   (since 7 until now)
- Josh worked there since last summer, but now he works here with us  (since last summer until he came to work with us)

For other situations (present or future) we prefer FROM

- The shops will be open from 8 o'clock in the morning
- I work from 8 to 4
- Our new company will start operating from September 10th