For, since or during?

For and since are both used to say how long something was. However, we use them with different time words.


We use for when we say the number of hours, days, months, etc. We also use it in expressions like "for ages" and "for a long time".

  • I'm going to live in France for two years.
  • I sat down for five minutes.
  • I've worked here for three months.


We use since when we say when something started (e.g. Tuesday, 2008, midnight). We usually use since with perfect tenses (read more about perfect tenses here).

  • I've lived here since October.
  • I'd known Sam since 1999.


We use during with nouns (e.g. the holiday, my party, the night). Sometimes it means for all the time, and sometimes it means for just part of the time.

  • My grandmother worked in the USA during the war.
  • I heard a strange noise during the night.


Choose the best preposition to complete these sentences.

  1. I'm going to get my hair cut  the summer holidays.
  2. I'm going on holiday  two weeks.
  3. I've been studying English  four years.
  4. I've been studying Japanese  2009.
  5. I slept  the film.
  6. I slept  seven hours last night.
  7. I've known Sarah  last September.
  8. I've known Sarah  a long time.
  9. I got a phone call  the meeting.
  10. It rained  hours last night.
  11. I was born  a thunderstorm.
  12. I saw 3 films  the flight to Poland.
  13. I haven't seen Andrew  yesterday.