Using: Since / For / Ago

Since, For and Ago are similar but they are not the same.  All three of these words can be used when talking about the past, but sometimes it can be difficult to know when or how to use them.  Here are some helpful hints for you!

For and Since talk about a time span.   We use the present perfect tense or the present perfect continuous tense.

For

We use for when we are talking about a certain length of time. (example:  five weeks, one year, two months, etc.)

  • We have lived in Raleigh for 12 years.
  • She has attended English class for 3 weeks.
  • He has been waiting for 15 minutes.
She has been a Crossroads student for 6 weeks.   (photo by dkirkland)

She has been a Crossroads student for 6 weeks. (photo by dkirkland)

Since

We use since when we are talking about something that begins at a specific point in time and it continues to the present. (example: a date, a time)

  • I have lived here since 1999. (We started living here in 1999 and we continue to live here.)
  • He has known her since 2005.(He met her, or started knowing her, in 2005 and he still knows her now.)
  • We have been driving since 6:00am!  (We started driving at 6:00am and we are still driving!)
She has been a Crossroads student since 2011.        (photo by dkirkland)

She has been a Crossroads student since 2011. (photo by dkirkland)

Ago is used when talking about something in the past. We always use simple past tense.

Ago

  • I moved to the United States 3 months ago.
  • We bought a house 2 years ago.
  • Five days ago, she visited her family.
She started Crossroads 10 months ago.        (photo by dkirkland)

She started Crossroads 10 months ago. (photo by dkirkland)

Thank you to our fantastic Crossroads students who helped demonstrate  For, Since and Ago!!!

If you would like a practice exercies.  Click on the link:    http://mark.yates.net/engextra/n04/ch06/n4_ch06_forsinceago_jqz.htm

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