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Let’s keep talking about the present perfect.

Today we’ll look at using it to express how long— or length of time.

So, you want to know how long someone has been in a particular job, you ask:

How long have you worked at Groupetude?

The person may answer:

I have worked at Groupetude for 6 months.


I have worked there since March.

He or she may also give a short answer:

6 months OR since March.


We use for when we talk about a length of time. For example: for 6 years; for 2 months; for 3 hours; for 10 minutes; for 4 days.

  • I have been awake for 3 hours.
  • She’s lived in Frankfurt for 2 years.
  • Marty has loved June for 20 years.
  • They have worked there for 6 months.
  • We’ve been here for 10 minutes.

We use since when we want to pinpoint when something started. It gives us a sense of how long but from a specific starting point: since May, since 2 o’clock, since 1999, since Christmas.

  • I’ve been awake since 8 o’clock.
  • She’s lived in Frankfurt since 2019.
  • Marty has loved June since 2001.
  • They have worked there since March.
  • We’ve been here since 11 AM.

You never use the present perfect with the word ago. You must use the past simple.

For example, you can say:

I moved to France 13 years go.

But you can’t say:

I have moved to France 13 years ago.

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