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We use the words for and since to explain how long something has been/is going on for.


We use for + time period

Example: Rosie has gone to her friend’s house for a hour. (time period = a day) – This means Rosie is going to be at her friend’s house for the time frame of a hour.




Mum has gone to stay with aunty Sue for a week.
He has gone on holiday to India for two months.
I have school holidays for six weeks.
We have been waiting at the bus stop for 10 minutes.
They’ve been gone for three hours.
My brother is studying abroad for three years.
I was waiting in the queue for twenty minutes.



We use since + the start of the period of time.

Example: Katie has been gone since eight o clock. (period of time = eight o clock) -This means from eight o clock until now Katie has been gone.




He’s been working since 6am.
My brother has been travelling across Europe since last year.
My grandma has lived in this house since I was 2 years old.
We have been waiting for a taxi since 9:30.
My teacher has been ill since last Wednesday.
They have had a supply teacher since Thursday.
I have been going for swimming lessons since the start of this year.




We use ago to show that the action has happened before now. When using ‘ago’ we say the time period first then ‘ago’.

As the action has taken place before now and in the past, we use past tense verbs.

Example: Mum left the house 10 minutes ago. (left = past tense verb) – This means that 10 minutes before now, mum had left the house.




I ate breakfast 1 hour ago. (- This means 1 hour before now, I ate breakfast)
The bus left two minutes ago. (-This means two minutes before now, the bus had left)
My sister started her new job 2 months ago. (-This means two months before now, my sister started her new job)
She went to Thorpe park a year ago (- This means a year before now, she went to Thorpe park.
Adam had fish and chips for lunch three days ago. (- This means three days before now, Adam ate fish and chips)



For, since, ago Exercises..


  1. Complete the following sentences by choosing the appropriate time period.


the rest of her life        10 minutes      6 years       2 hours       the past five days           3 years

  • My brother has lived in America for _________________________________________

  • I have been going to this school for _________________________________________

  • She has been waking up at 7am for _________________________________________

  • Samantha is moving to Scotland for _________________________________________

  • My little has been crying for _______________________________________________

  • Mum and dad have been waiting in the queue for ______________________________



  1. Create your own sentences using for + the time periods given in the above question.


  • (the rest of her life) _________________________________________________________________

  • (10 minutes) _______________________________________________________________________

  • (6 years) ___________________________________________________________________________

  • (2 hours) ___________________________________________________________________________

  • (the past five days) ___________________________________________________________________

  • (3 years) ___________________________________________________________________________



  1. Fill in the missing gaps using the phrases provided.


for 2 weeks                       since 8am                  since last year                   2 hours ago                        3 days ago

10 years ago                 I was 8 years old       since 9pm yesterday



I have been awake ________________. I ate my breakfast ______________. My brother is still sleeping. He’s been sleeping ________________________. I have to wait for my brother to wake up so that I can give him his breakfast because mum and dad have gone on holiday. They left  _________________. They have gone to Spain ________________ to visit my sister. My sister Georgia lives in Spain. She moved to Spain ______________________  when I was 8 years old and my parents haven’t seen her _______________. I haven’t seen her since ____________________________.



Challenge: Create 5 of your own sentences using the phrase provided.


  • (2 years ago) ____________________________________________________________________

  • (3 days ago) _____________________________________________________________________

  • (a week ago) _____________________________________________________________________

  • (a hundred years ago) _____________________________________________________________

  • (15 minutes ago) __________________________________________________________________


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