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Error Spotting Part 5

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If you are preparing for competitive exams of Banking, SSC, etc. like (IBPS Clerk, IBPS PO, SBI Clerk, SBI PO, SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, RRB NTPC, RBI, LIC AAO, etc.) you will encounter English Language and Comprehension sections. One of the most important aspects of the English section, in any exam, is to learn to Spot Errors and Correct Sentences. These Error Spotting and Sentence Correction Grammar Capsules are aimed at helping you learn a little bit of Grammar every day. Let us start with Error Spotting Capsule 5 which deals with the concept of “Since or For“. You can even download Error Spotting Capsule 5 as PDF.

In time frame related references, once tends to get confused between since and for. To spot the error and instantly know whether a certain error needs you to use ‘for’ or ‘since’, you can look for 3 main error types.

Given below are these main error types and tricks to arrive at the right answer.

Error #1 Confused preposition: since or for?

Sentence: I have lived here since 10 years… uh… for 10 years??

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  • ‘Since’ is used to indicate a specific point of time such as 1947, May 2016, Monday, Independence, and I went to Berlin.

Example: I have lived here since 1998.

  • ‘For’ is used to indicate the duration or period of time such as 7 years, 2 months, and 3 days.

Example: I have lived here for 18 years.

 

Error #2 Improper tense: since

Sentence: I haven’t heard from him since I went to Syria.

Though we can use Simple Past or Past Perfect in the part following ‘since (here, I went to Syria), the verb in the main clause must always be in Present Perfect.

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Why so? Present Perfect is used to indicate that something happened/started in the past is continuing till now.
I haven’t heard from him means that, he stopped communicating with me at some point in time in the past and he hasn’t talked to me till now.

 

Error #3 Improper tense: for

Case 1: They have spent their evenings at this park for 9 years.
They started this habit in the past and continue till now.

Case 2: They spent their evening at this park for 9 years.
They don’t spend their evening at the park anymore; it’s completely about their past.

Case 3: They are going to Cambodia for 5 weeks.
They haven’t gone yet, it’s their future plan.

 

Spot the error in the following sentences

  1. I have been living in this city since last several years but have never experienced any discrimination.
  2. Ankit is living here since 2011.
  3. Ram goes to the gym for a couple of hours every day.

Here are the answers!!

Explanation 1: I have been living in this city since last several years for last several years but have never experienced any discrimination.
Here, a period of time is given and thus, ‘since’ cannot be used. [Error #1]

Explanation 2: Ankit is living has lived here since 2011.
Since and Present Perfect are best friends!!! ? The speaker wants to tell that Ankit started to live there in 2011 and he is living there now also. Thus, Present Perfect must be used. [Error #2]

Explanation 3: No error. The habit of Ram is being discussed and habits are expressed in Simple Present/Simple Past/used to/would. The presence of for has nothing to do with the tense here.

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