Intermediate grammar exercise: from, for and since

English grammar practice exercise, for pre-intermediate and intermediate level.

In this exercise you will practise the difference between for, since and from.

Exercise instructions

Decide whether the following sentences require for, since or from.

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Since expresses duration up to the present.

When we use since, we are saying that something began in the past and is unfinished:

I have lived in this house since 1997.
(= 'I moved here in 1997 and I still live here.')

We’ve been married since last June.
(= 'We got married last June and we’re still married.')

I've known him since we were at school.
(= 'I knew him at school and I still know him.')
We use the present perfect simple or present perfect continuous with since:

I have had this car since last April.
Mary has been working here since 2003.
We can use the past perfect tense with since to express duration from a point in the past:

It was 1974, and he had been living in London since 1964.
Since vs. for
Since and for both express duration up to a point in the present, but we use them differently.
We use since + the starting point of the activity:

We have lived in this house since we got married.
I've been waiting here since 9 o'clock.
We use for + a time period:

We have lived in this house for thirty years.
I've been waiting here for three hours.
Since vs. from
We use since and from to express duration. Both tell us the starting point of an activity.
Since expresses duration of an unfinished action, up to a point in the present:

I've been here since 8 o'clock this morning so I'm going home now.
I've been here from 8 o'clock this morning.
We use from in other cases:

I will be here from 8 o'clock tomorrow.
I will be here since 8 o'clock tomorrow.

The shop is open from 9 a.m on Saturdays.
The shop is open since 9 a.m on Saturdays.
We say from . . . to or from . . . till / until:

He works from 8 to 5 o'clock.
From the 1920s until his death, Picasso lived in France.

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  1. Subbu - October 24, 2016, 7:56 pm Reply

    This is a very helpful stuff keep going thanks 🙂
    BTW I have a doubt..he is an ultimate entertainer for the past 7 years.
    Does using- “From the past 7 years”.in the above sentence is wrong ??

    • Jubbu - December 3, 2016, 7:46 pm Reply

      He is an ultimate entertainer for the past 7 years.
      That’s not correct.
      –> He has been an ultimate entertainer for the past 7 years.
      You have to use present perfect with this kind of expressions.
      Neither “since” nor “from” is correct in this sentence, because you can’t use them with a period of time. You can only use “for”.

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