Perfect tense: Can I use since/for to talk about an action in the past?

For example, If I got up two hours ago(let us suppose it was at 8 o’clock), can I say"I have got up for two hours", or “I have got up since 8 o’clock”?


No, you say: ‘I’ve been up for 2 hours’,

or: I’m up since 8 o’clock

Thank you, Shyone. Here is a further question: In negative perfect tense, can a verb for a brief action coexist with for/since phrases? e.g.

He hasn’t taken a bath for three days./He hasn’t taken a bath since last Monday.
He hasn’t gone to school for a week./ He hasn’t gone to school since last Monday.


Hello Iwanna,

The words “for” and “since” are both used to talk about duration, but they are used in different ways. Basically, the word “for” is used to talk about duration by mentioning the amount of time. This works in any tense. When you use the present perfect, the word “since” can be used to establish the duration of an action that has continued up to the present by mentioning the point in time when the action began .

  • It has been raining for five days. (for an amount of time)
  • It has been raining since last Saturday. (since a point in time)

Your negative sentences are fine. In those sentences, you are in essence stating the duration of “non-action”. The action mentioned in each sentence did not take place at any time during the timeframe indicated by the sentence.

I hope that answers your question.
[size=92]“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” ~ Henry Ford[/size]

Thank you, Esl. You always give so helpful explanations.