Difference between For and Since | For vs Since

One of the most confusing sets of prepositions is the words ‘for’ and ‘since’. Most people have made the mistake of using these words interchangeably in sentences and, as a result, have got them wrong most of the time. So how to make sure when to use ‘for’ and when to use ‘since’? After reading this article, students will have all their doubts cleared.

In the English Language, prepositions play an essential role. And the words ‘for’ and ‘since’ are used as prepositions of time. Since both these words denote a period of time, students get easily confused by the terms. And unknowingly, often they make the mistake of using ‘for’ instead of ‘since’ and vice versa. The points which will be discussed below in the article will help you know when and how you can use the prepositions ‘for’ and ‘since’. Let’s take a look at the points:

Table Summarising the Difference between For and Since

For

Since

Meaning

The word ‘for’ is used to show a period of time, be it in the past, present or future.

The word ‘since’ is used to refer to a time that has begun in the past and is still continuing.

Usage

It is used as a Preposition.

It is used as a Preposition.

Example

I was waiting for the food.

We have been married since 1996.

Though in the tabular chart, one can notice that the words ‘for’ and ‘since’ are used as prepositions to denote a period of time, they can neither be used interchangeably nor synonymously. The following in-depth analysis of these two words, along with examples, will help one to understand the difference between them more clearly.

The Difference between For and Since – Meaning

Suppose someone asks you how are the prepositions ‘for’ and ‘since’ different from each other? Or when would you use ‘for’ or ‘since’ in a sentence? To answer these types of questions, you have to know the following things. First, when we are using ‘for’ in a sentence, it means it’s used to denote a specific amount of time, and it doesn’t have to be exact. For example, “I have been looking for my dog for some time now.” Here, ‘for some time now’ represents not an exact but particular amount of time. Now the time used to refer to can be in past, present or future. Whereas when the word ‘since’ is used, it refers to a particular point of time that has started/began in the past and is still continuing in the present time. For example, “Raj has been living in London since 2003.” The examples below will make sure that you make no mistake next time while using these words.

Example of For and Since

The following example will help students understand the words ‘for’ and ‘since’ quite clearly.

For – Bruce has been travelling for the past two weeks (preposition)

Since – I have known you since you were a kid. (preposition)

The moment the students grasp the difference between the words ‘for’ and ‘since’, they can easily apply them in the correct context.

For and Since – Conclusion

So, to sum up, the words ‘for’ and ‘since’, even though it denotes a period of time, can neither be used interchangeably nor synonymously. The article explains the difference between ‘for’ and ‘since’ with the help of examples to make it easy for students to put them in sentences. Apart from this, BYJU’S offers various articles on many such ‘differences between two words’ that students often get confused with.

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