Difference Wiki

Since vs. For: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Published on November 26, 2023
"Since" refers to the starting point of an action or event, while "for" denotes the duration of that action or event.

Key Differences

"Since" and "for" are two prepositions frequently employed to convey time in the English language, though they have distinct uses. Understanding when to utilize each one is pivotal in ensuring clarity and precision in one's statements.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
"Since" is typically used to indicate a specific point in time when an event commenced. In essence, it refers to the starting time of an action or situation and is often paired with a precise time or date. For instance, saying "I have lived here since 2010" denotes that 2010 is the year the speaker began living in that location, and they've continued to do so until the present moment.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
Conversely, "for" is employed to articulate the duration or span of an action or situation. It emphasizes the length of time that something has been happening. For instance, in the sentence "I have lived here for 10 years," the emphasis is on the decade-long duration of the speaker's residency.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
Interestingly, while both "since" and "for" can be used in contexts describing actions that began in the past and continue into the present, their focal points differ. "Since" hones in on the onset of the action, whereas "for" emphasizes its continuous nature over a specific length of time. Recognizing this distinction ensures clarity in communication.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
Both words, while central to expressing time, require different accompanying information. With "since," a specific point in time follows, while "for" is succeeded by a time duration. Ensuring the correct pairing is vital for accurate and comprehensible statements.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Use in Time

Starting point
Duration
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Typical Follow-up

Specific date or time
Length of time
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Example

"I've known him since 2000."
"I've known him for 20 years."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Function

Refers to the start of an action/event
Emphasizes how long an action/event has occurred
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

In Present Perfect

Used with a specific past time
Used with a duration
Sara Rehman
Nov 26, 2023
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Since and For Definitions

Since

Indicating the time something began.
It's been raining since morning.
Harlon Moss
Nov 01, 2023

For

In favor of; supporting.
Are you for or against the proposal?
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

Since

After a time in the past.
I've felt better since taking the medicine.
Harlon Moss
Nov 01, 2023

For

Intended to be given to or used by.
This gift is for you.
Harlon Moss
Nov 01, 2023

Since

From a particular past time until now.
I haven't seen him since Tuesday.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2023

For

Indicating the duration of an event or action.
We've been waiting for an hour.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 01, 2023

Since

Continuously from a specific past time.
She's lived here since 2015.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

For

Indicating purpose or reason.
She went to the store for some milk.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 01, 2023

Since

Because, given that.
Since you're here, help me move this.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 01, 2023

For

Indicating destination or recipient.
He left for New York.
Sara Rehman
Nov 01, 2023

Since

From then until now or between then and now
They left town and haven't been here since.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 11, 2023

For

Used to indicate the object, aim, or purpose of an action or activity
Trained for the ministry.
Put the house up for sale.
Plans to run for senator.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 11, 2023

Since

Before now; ago
A name long since forgotten.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 11, 2023

For

Used to indicate a destination
Headed off for town.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 11, 2023

FAQs

Can "since" and "for" be used interchangeably?

No, "since" refers to the starting point, while "for" refers to duration.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

What follows "since" in time-related contexts?

A specific date or time, like "since 2015" or "since noon."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 26, 2023

Is "since" ever used in causal contexts?

Yes, it can mean "because," e.g., "Since it rained, we stayed in."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

How do you describe an ongoing action with "for"?

Use it with a duration, like "for three hours."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Which tense often accompanies "for" and "since"?

The present perfect, e.g., "I have lived here since 2010."
Sara Rehman
Nov 26, 2023

Can "for" be used outside of time contexts?

Yes, e.g., "This is for you."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "for" denote support?

Yes, e.g., "I'm for the new policy."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023

How is "since" different from "from"?

"Since" indicates the start of a continuous action, while "from" often requires an endpoint.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "since" begin a sentence?

Yes, often in causal contexts, e.g., "Since it's late, let's go."
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

How do I choose between "for" and "since"?

Determine if you're specifying a start point ("since") or duration ("for").
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "since" indicate a future time?

Rarely. It usually references past times extending to the present.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Do "since" and "for" only relate to time?

No, both have other functions, like causality for "since" and purpose for "for."
Aimie Carlson
Nov 26, 2023

Can "since" be used in negative sentences?

Yes, e.g., "I haven't eaten since morning."
Janet White
Nov 26, 2023

Can "for" indicate against something?

No, "for" typically indicates support or favor.
Janet White
Nov 26, 2023

How is "since" used in questions?

E.g., "Since when have you known?"
Janet White
Nov 26, 2023

How do I emphasize duration with "for"?

Use it with strong adverbs, e.g., "for quite a while."
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Can "for" indicate purpose?

Yes, e.g., "She's studying for her exams."
Sara Rehman
Nov 26, 2023

Is "since" exclusive to time contexts?

No, it can also indicate causality.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 26, 2023

Is "for" used with specific past dates?

No, "for" pairs with durations, not specific dates.
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023

What if an event's duration is unknown?

Use "for" with approximations, like "for several hours."
Harlon Moss
Nov 26, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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