how long

 

We use for to say how long:

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

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.

 

Exercise

Comments

Dear Kirk,
Thank you very much for answering my question.
I should have written "how many people did come to your party?"
According what I red in your blog, where/what/why can be subject of our question and in this case we don't  need to add an auxiliary in our question;therefor, we need to add auxiliary in question form with how many. please help me It's not clear for me why shouldn't I add an auxiliary,did here, for "how many" questions like this.My grammar is poor and I found your website very helpful. Thanks for all great lessons.
Very best wishes and regards,
Mary
 

Hello Mary,

We the list of 'where/what/why' is not complete - it represents some common examples, not all examples.  We can form subject questions with some other question words, such as 'how many', 'how much', 'who' and 'which' (amongst others):

Who came to your party?

Which people came to your party?

How many people came to your party?

The key is not the question word, as all of these question words can be used in object questions too.  The key is whether the noun about which you want to ask is the subject of the verb or the object.  In all the examples above, we are asking about the subject of the verb 'came', and that is why we do not have an auxiliary verb.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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.
 

Hello pompeii,
 
Until now, I had never thought about the difference between the two! This is definitely the most complex question I've seen so far today.
 
In general terms, I would say that so far ​indicates that something is not finished. ​Until now, ​might indicate that something is about to change, or has already changed.
 
Try looking for examples in newspapers or books to give you some more help in this area.
 
Regards,
 
Stephen Jones
 
The LearnEnglish Team

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.

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