Easter, Art and Time Words: For During Since – Podcast Episode 2
Learn English With Everest #2: Easter, Art, Time Words: For During Since
This episode focuses on the grammar of time words: For During Since. It features an interview with our teacher Derek Smith. There is lots of vocabulary about art, Easter and life in Dublin. Listen and enjoy and please remember to like, share and subscribe.
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A blank canvas
(To explain something) in broad brushstrokes
To give something up – I gave up chocolate for Lent
The Easter Bunny
An off-licence (where you buy alcohol)
A sculptor (the person)
A sculpture (the object)
Time Words: For, During, Since
So we use for with a period of time to talk about how long something has happened.
For two weeks / For a year
- Last year, I lived in Ireland for two months. The total time I was in Ireland was two months.
Here we are using it with the past simple (I lived)
But we can also use it with the present perfect:
- How long have you been painting professionally?
- I’ve been (present perfect) I’ve been painting for 9 years. (from nine years ago until now)
And we can also use it with the future
- How long will you be on holidays for?
- I’m going to France next week and I’ll be there for two weeks
So, ”for”is very flexible – you can use it with any tense (past present future, perfect, simple). And it’s always about how long, we use it with a period of time.
Since is not the same as for. Since is used with a time as well, but with the starting point
It means from a time in the past until now.
And, when we talk about things that started in the past and continued to now, we use perfect tenses, particularly the present perfect. We don’t use the past tense with since
How long have you been painting?
I’ve been painting since last week / since 1995 / since I was a child
So since + a starting point, with perfect tenses (especially the present perfect)
We use 'during' with a noun to say 'when' something happens.
Don’t mix up during with for. Confusingly, during doesn’t mean duration, we use for. So not, I was in Spain during 3 months, but I was in Spain for 3 months.
We usually use during to talk about one event, inside a longer event
During my lunch break, I had a sandwich. Maybe the lunch break was an hour, and eating the sandwich was 5 minutes
During Lent, I didn’t eat any chocolate
So we use during to talk about an event or an activity, or one activity that happens inside another (sleeping during the day). It’s not for talking about durations of time.
Not: I lived in Ireland during two weeks
I visited Ireland during my trip around Europe
And we usually use it with the past simple or continuous, not the present perfect.
Finally, ago is used after a time expression.
One hour ago
One month ago
Thousands of years ago
And, again, we use it with the simple past not the present perfect.
He died three years ago
I met that man two years ago
BUT I have met that man before/in the past
NOT: I have met him two years ago.
(Because we don’t use present perfect with specific time phrases, and two years ago is specific. “in the past” or “before” is general)
Derek Smith’s art on Instagram is here
The music of Nouveau Noise is here
Listen to all of Everest's podcasts here.