For and During – English time prepositions

We use both for and during to talk about time in English. So when do we say for and when do we say during? Learn the different meanings and uses of these prepositions in this video.

Click here to learn how we use the prepositions for and to to talk about purpose
Click here to learn how we use the time prepositions for and since
Click here to learn how to use the time prepositions by and until
Click here to see more grammar videos

For and During video script

We went to the cinema last night.
It was great.
Jay’s phone rang during the movie.
It was only for a couple of seconds before I turned it off. It rang twice.

We use both of these prepositions to talk about time.

How do you turn this microphone on?
Like this.
Ah, thank you.
How long is your presentation?
I’ll speak for about three hours.
Ooo, three hours. And will you be taking questions during the talk?
No.
Ah.

During’ tells us when something happens, but it doesn’t tell us how long it happens. We use ‘for’ for that.

I’ll speak for about three hours. I won’t take questions during the presentation.

We use ‘during’ with nouns. We use ‘for’ with periods of time.

People are still cleaning up from Hurricane Delores last week.
DECO Energy reports two hundred thousand homes lost power during the hurricane.
Homes along the coast have been without electricity for a week.

During – when something happens.

Two hundred thousand homes lost power during the hurricane.

For – how long it lasts or continues.

Homes along the coast have been without electricity for a week.

This is the final boarding call for flight 7654 with services to….
Hey Vicki.
Yeah?
Could you put this in your bag?
I’ll try.
I want to sleep during the flight.
Uhuh.
Oh and could you put this in your bag?
OK, but you can’t use it during take off and landing.
I know, so could you put this in your bag?
Jay. It’s a short flight. We’ll only be in the air for forty minutes.

Click here to see this video with a clickable transcript
Click here to learn how we use the prepositions for and to to talk about purpose
Click here to learn how we use the time prepositions for and since
Click here to learn how to use the time prepositions by and until
Click here to see more grammar videos

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