Expressing time duration in the past

Monday, January 20, 2014

What do you say when you don't do something or when you don't see someone over a long period of time?

For example, your friend Darla left for Thailand in August and returned home for a holiday visit in December. How do you construct a sentence expressing the last time you saw Darla before December? By using the present perfect!

Darla leaves in August and comes home four months later in December, so you say,

- I haven't seen Darla since August. OR
- I haven't seen Darla for/in four months. OR
- It has been four months since I saw Darla.

Or maybe you love cherries and they are only in season (harvested) in July. So you ate cherries in July 2013 and now it is July 2014, and you express this gap of time when you didn't eat cherries as,
- I haven't eaten cherries since last July. OR
- I haven't eaten cherries for/in one year. OR
- I has been one year since I ate cherries.

There are two key words, clues when expressing time: for, which measures the duration of time between actions, and since, which refers to a point in time (in the past), until now. Also, in expresses time duration.

I haven't seen her in two months. = I haven't seen her for two months.

What is something you haven't done in a long time?

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