Find the incorrect sentences.
a This is the first time I ate crab.
b No one has been in this house for years.
c Harry and Sally have known each other since two weeks.
d I’ve been to Egypt nearly twenty years ago.
e It’s two years since my rabbit has died.
f He’s been working here since three months.
g Hey! Watch out! That’s the third time you trod on my toe.
h Pete and Katy met at the school reunion. They hadn’t spoken to each other since 1990.
i We’ve been in love with each other for years and years.
j Ten years ago, an old woman lived here with her three cats.
Complete the sentences. Use ago, for or since.
a Mike’s had that old car …………………… eight years.
b I last spoke to Tim two weeks …………………… .
c ‘How long have you been waiting?’ ‘ …………………… half-past two.’
d I’ve felt much better …………………… I started going for walks.
e That film was made over twenty years …………………… .
f This is the first time I’ve seen you …………………… the wedding.
g Nick has been working …………………… hours. He must be tired.
h Have you put on weight …………………… you stopped smoking?
i No one’s seen Simon …………………… three weeks.
j I went to the Sinai many years ……………………, when I was still a student.
Answer the questions. Use for or since and the words in brackets.
a How long have you been seeing Jason? (two months)
b How long have you owned your flat? (1999)
c How long have they been here? (a couple of days)
d How long has John been working there? (two years)
e How long have they been on holiday? (last Saturday)
f How long has the shop been open? (nine o’clock)
g How long have you been waiting? (an hour)
h How long have you been studying English? (last autumn)
i How long has he had his dog? (September)
j How long have you known Tony? (Christmas)
Write the correct form of the verbs in brackets. More than one tense may be possible.
a This is the second time I (be) here.
b Many years ago, I (see) the Taj Mahal. I’ve never forgotten it.
c It was at least two years since we (speak) to each other.
d (you / study) English for a long time?
e Shakespeare (die) a very long time ago.
f (you / write) any more poems since I last saw you?
g It (rain) since Saturday morning and I’m fed up with it.
h Tom and Louise (marry) for ten years.
i I (have) a terrible headache for three days and then it went.
j I (have) a headache since I woke up.
Read the note to find out why.
a ate ‘ve eaten -> G
b correct -> B, E
c since for -> B, E
d I’ve been I went -> F
e has died died -> D
f since for -> B, E
g trod ‘ve trodden -> G
h correct -> A, C
i correct -> E
j correct -> F
a for -> B f since -> A
b ago -> F g for -> B
c Since -> A h since -> A
d since -> A i for -> B
e ago -> F j ago -> F
a For two months.
b Since 1999.
c For a couple of days.
d For two years.
e Since last Saturday.
f Since nine o’clock.
g For an hour.
h Since last autumn.
i Since September.
j Since Christmas.
a ‘ve been
c had spoken
d Have you been studying/Have
you studied/Did you study
f Have you written
g has boon raining/has rained
h have been married/ were married
Use since to say when something started. It can be a date, a time or an event.
Use for to say how long something went on or has been going on.
Use the past perfect in a main clause with since if the action is finished.
Use the past simple in a clause after since if the action is finished.
Use the present perfect or present perfect continuous with for if the action has a result in the present and you’re talking about a length of time.
Use ago after a time reference with the past simple. Don’t use the present perfect.
Use the present perfect with This is the first/second/third time …
Since, for and ago
– You use since to say when something started. This is a point in time, e.g. Christmas, 1999, last Monday, I was ten, etc.
I haven’t seen Johnny since Easter.
Tom’s been waiting for you since three o’clock.
– You use the present perfect in a main clause with since if the action has a result in the present and you’re talking about when it started.
She’s been on a diet since last Wednesday.
We’ve seen Emma twice since the weekend.
– You use the past perfect in a main clause with since if the action is finished.
We’d met several times since that party.
– You use the past simple in a clause after since if the action is finished.
We’d met several times since we were kids.
– You use for to say how long something went on or has been going on.
David was at university for four years.
Peter’s been studying French for a month.
– You use the present perfect simple or continuous with for if the action has a result in the present and you’re talking about a length of time.
David has been at university for six months.
(He’s still at university now.)
I’ve been reading this report for hours.
(I’m still reading it.)
– You use the past simple with for if the action is finished.
David was at university for four years.
(He’s left university now.)
– You use ago after a time period with the past simple.
Luke and I met two weeks ago. I lived in Brussels ten years ago.