Notice in the video how many times Alex says ‘so’ (alors) ‘OK’ (bon) ‘right?’ (n’est-ce pas? /c’est ça euh?)
English speakers punctuate their speech with these little words, just like French speakers do with ‘alors’ ‘fin’ ‘bien’ ‘eh?’ This is probably more important to know than the lesson itself!
Try the quiz at the end.
Hi this is Alex, and welcome to this lesson on using ‘for’ and ‘since’. Now we use these two terms when you want to talk about something that began in the past so the tenses that you’ll most often be using ‘for’ and ‘since’ with will be the present perfect and the present perfect progressive.
So when we use ‘for’ and ‘since’ again we want to, depending on if you want to talk about for how long you have been doing something versus when you began doing something, you’ll use one or the other, for instance we use ‘for’ when we want to talk about how long we have been doing something. So we’re talking about
a specific duration of time. For instance, ‘I have lived in Canada for five years’ for example.
When we use ‘since’ we talk about when we began doing something, at which point we started something:
‘I have known how to drive since 1996’ or something like that.
OK so let’s look at the examples that we have on the board. So remember we use ‘for’ when we want to talk about how long we’ve been doing something and we use ‘since’ when we talk about at which point we began doing something.
OK so, ‘it has rained (blank) 9am’ so we know that 9am is a specific time, right? So a specific time in the past we would use ‘since’- ‘it has rained since 9am’
Let’s look at the second example, also dealing with rain, ‘it has rained (blank) three hours’. Now, unlike 9am, 9am is a specific time in the past, right? 3 hours is a span of time, how long something has been happening.
‘It has rained for 3 hours’, remember a span of time we use ‘for’.
‘I have known how to read (blank) grade three. Or since the third grade, if you want to be specific. OK So grade three is a specific moment in the past, right? it already happened. So let’s look at our rules and it would be ‘since’. Right? so grade three is not a specific span of time, grade three is something that has
happened it’s finished, it’s over… so let’s look at the next one:
‘she’s been waiting (blank) 45 minutes’
Again 45 minutes – specific span of time, right? So, ‘she’s been waiting for 45 minutes’.
OK so finally, ‘I have lived here (blank) 4 years.’
So again, we have 3 hours, 45 minutes, 4 years, all measures of specific periods of time, so we use ‘for’ in that case:
‘I have lived here for 4 years’. OK.
So just a reminder, when you are using ‘for’, you’re talking about a specific duration of time, how long something has been happening, versus when you use ‘since’, which tells a person when you began doing something, or a specific moment in the past.