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How long

Level: beginner

We use for to say how long:

We have been waiting for twenty minutes.
They lived in Manchester for fifteen years.

We can also use a noun phrase without for:

Let’s go. We’ve been waiting nearly an hour.
I’ve worked here twenty years.

We use since with the present perfect or the past perfect to say when something started:

I have worked here since December.
They had been watching since seven o’clock in the morning.

How long 1

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We use from … to/until to say when something starts and finishes:

They stayed with us from Monday to Friday.
We will be on holiday from the sixteenth until the twentieth.

Be careful!

We can use to or until with a noun phrase:

My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 to her death.
My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 until her death.

But we can only use until with a clause

My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 to she died.
My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 until she died.

How long 2

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Comments

hello
I would know what is difference between from..to and from...untel in following sentences:
I worked in Italy from 1995 to 1998
the meeting lasted from 2 o'clock until half past four
can we tel: I worked in Italy fom 1995 untel 1998.
thinks.

Hi kira300,

In the sentences you wrote, to and until have the same exact meaning (notice the spelling of until). Just so you know, the word till also means the same thing as until.

Best wishes,

Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

it's really good forum  so far ! (is it the correct sentence?)
 

its is a great experience to practice and improve english

Hello,
Can you tell me what the main difference is in meaning or use between the following expressions : 'so far' and 'until now' (or 'up to now')? Can you give me some examples of what they mean?
Many thanks.
 

very good

Hi,
Can we write "We have been waiting since fifteen minutes ago" instead of "We have been waiting for the past fifteen minutes". The first statement isn't even making sense in my own head as I have never heard it this way before but I just wanted to know if it is correct or not. And if not, then why?
Thanks.

Very helpful this course, I really Like it!!!, Could you please tell me if the sentence number three in the exercise is ok... well I refer to:
I've haven't seen him.... it should be:
I haven't seen him or I have not seen him
Maybe I'm confused
 

Hello,
Well spotted! I've changed the exercise because that sentence was wrong.
Please tell us if you spot any other problems.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teachers, can I begin a sentence with: Since I was born... or From 1995 to 200 ... or For x years..?

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