4 Since, For and Ago

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Part 4: Since, For and Ago
These are often confusing words for students, let's have a recap!!!


SINCE is used...

...with a Point in Time. (I have been here since yesterday. I will have been there since the day before.)

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FOR is used...

...with a Length of Time. (I have been here for a day. I will have been there for a day.)

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AGO means...

..."far from now (time) in the PAST". (I have been here since one day ago. He arrived 3 days ago. [Future use is not possible])

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These words are NOT MAGIC WORDS they can be used with many tenses!

"Ok boss!"

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SINCE can be used most naturally with one particular aspect, which one is it?

The Perfect Aspect. (Present Perfect, Past Perfect etc)

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Why does SINCE correspond so well to the Perfect Aspect?

Well SINCE communicates the idea of a previous point in time in relation to the perspective used by the speaker.
For example:
I have been here (perspective is now) since 3pm (previous point in time).
I will have been at the airport (perspective is when I will be at the airport) since about 5am (previous point in time to the perspective).
[N.B. That this "5 am" is in the future of the speaker, but in the past of the perspective used by the speaker.]
I had been at the airport (perspective is when I was at the airport) since about 7am that morning (previous point in time to the perspective).

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SOME PRACTICE OF SINCE.

Use the Present Perfect and Since to make a sentence:
To be unemployed / Since / Christmas / And / To be worried.

I have been unemployed since Christmas and I am very worried.

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Use the Past Perfect and Since to make a sentence:
To be in a job / Since / To move to London / And / To want to leave.

I had been in that job since we moved to London and I wanted to leave.

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Use the Future Perfect and Since to make a sentence:
To be in the airport / Since / 4 am / So / To be bored.

I will have been in the airport since 4 am so I'll be very bored.

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FOR is more flexible than SINCE, it can be used with all...

..TENSES and Constructions.

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What does FOR describe (or with what expressions do we use it)?

It describes a Length of Time.

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Present Simple + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I stay in London for a week every year.

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Present Continuous + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I am staying in London for a week before I go to Madrid.

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Past Simple + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I stayed in London for a week many years ago.

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Past Continuous + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I was staying in London for a week when I met him.

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Present Perfect Simple + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I have stayed in London for a week at the most at any time.

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Present Perfect Continuous + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I have been staying in London for a week so everything is still very exciting.

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Past Perfect Simple + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I had stayed in London for a week before so I knew my way around a little.

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Past Perfect Contnuous + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I had been staying in London for a week so I wasn't surprised when it happened.

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Future Simple + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I will stay in London for a week if he invites me.

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Future Continuous + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I will be staying in London for a week so we can catch up then.

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Future Perfect Simple + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I will have stayed in London for a week 10 times by then!

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Future Perfect Continuous + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I will have been staying in London for a week so I am sure it will have rained already!

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Used to + to stay / in London / for / a week...

I used to stay in London for a week every summer when I was working.

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AGO is the most specific. What can it only refer to?

Like SINCE it refers to a 'previous' point in time, but unlike Since AGO can only refer to a previous point in time in relation to NOW.

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What are the two most common tenses with AGO?

PAST and PRESENT PERFECT.

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Using the PAST SIMPLE:
To arrive / 3 years / ago.

I arrived 3 years ago.

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Using the PRESENT PERFECT:
To be here/ since / 3 years / ago.

I have been here since 3 years ago.

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[Sourced: EnglishAdam.com]

Test Your Knowledge!

Question


SINCE is used...

Theory Test


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Answer


...with a Point in Time.

"I have been here since yesterday."
"I will have been there since the day before."

Notes


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Notes


No specific notes on this question yet, sorry.
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