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Using 'since' and 'for' for German speakers.

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

A common problem that many German speakers have with English is with using since or for with the Present Perfect.


Remember, although the German word Seit translates to since, it is also translated into for.


Since = starting point of the action in the present perfect.

For = duration of the action that has taken place in the present perfect.


Ich lebe seit acht Jahren in Berlin. = I have lived in Berlin for eight years.

Ich lebe seit 2014 in Berlin. = I have lived in Berlin since 2014.


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Exercises:


1) Choose either since or for to complete the following sentences;


a) I have lived in Berlin ________ 4 years.

b) We have been based in this office ________ 2018.

c) ________ the last 8 years, our company has prided itself on its customer service.

d) I have known my husband ________ 16 years.

e) I have been in the same team ________ I started at this company.

f) ________ July of last year, we have sold over 1000 units.

g) ________ the start of the financial year, they have paid absolutely no tax.


2) Re-write the following sentences to include the information in (brackets) about how long and action has taken place for or when it started.


1) I speak German. (two years old). I have spoken German since I was two years old.

2) Olaf Scholz is the Chancellor of Germany. (2021).

3) A train ticket costs 9 Euros. (1st June 2022).

4) Tesla sell electric cars. (2 years).

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