Prepositions of time – during, in, for and since


During is used to say when something happens; for is used to say how long it lasts.

I was in France during the summer.
I was in France for two months. (NOT I was in France during two months.)
It rained during the night for two hours.
I had a strange experience during my vacation.
I stayed with them for three weeks.
Many important questions arose during the discussion.

During and in

Both during and in can be used to say that something happens inside a particular period of time.

  • We will be on holiday during the summer. OR We will be on holiday in the summer.
  • I woke up during the night. OR I woke up in the night.

When we are talking about the whole of the period we use during, not in.


Use since to reckon from a particular point of time.

  • It has been raining since morning.
  • We have been living here since 2004.

Note that in sentences with since, we normally use present perfect and past perfect tenses in the main clause.

Now that you have learned the use of since, for, during and in, try the following quiz to test your understanding.

1. I haven’t seen him ……………….. years. (for / since / during)

2. The shop will be closed …………………. the whole of June. (since / during / in)

3. I met an old friend of mine ………………… my stay in London. (during / since / for)

4. He has been absent …………………. Tuesday. (since / for / during)


1. For, 2. During, 3. During, 4. Since