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Lesson 1.5


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We use “for”, “since” and “ago” to express a relationship with time. These adverbs can be used with various verb tenses. “For” y “since” respond to the question: “How long…?”.


For” indicates duration or a period of time. It cannot be used with “all” in the sense of “all day” or “all the time”, but it can be used with all of the various verb tenses.

  one minute,   a few hours,   two weeks,   five months,
  12 years,   a long time…


 We always run for at least one hour every day.
 Heather will be practicing the piano for a couple of hours this afternoon.
 I played tennis for years before I injured my knee.
 They have lived in Paris for ten years.
 He has been studying English for a long time.
 Jane had only been working at the factory for three months when it closed.

Note: Keep in mind that both “for” y “since” have other meanings not related to time.


“Since” is used to indicate the beginning of a period of time that continues to the present. As this period of time, which began at a specific time in the past, continues into the present, we can only use "since*" with the perfect tenses.*

  10 o’clock,   Monday,   March,   2005,   this morning,
  the beginning of the year,   you called…


 I have lived in Spain since April 2010.
 My brother has been sick since Friday.
 They have been studying English since last year.
 We have been waiting for you since 3 o’clock.

Note: Keep in mind that both “for” y “since” have other meanings not related to time.


“Ago” means a period of time in the past or before the present and is found at the end of the sentence. It is only used with the past simple.


 Richard finished university three years ago.
 I called you ten minutes ago.
 She quit smoking a long time ago.
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