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PrÉpositions Avec Le temps. POUR, DANS, et EN. Review. Depuis means "since" or "for." It is used with a French verb in the present tense to talk about an action that began in the past and continues in the present.

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  • Depuis means "since" or "for." It is used with a French verb in the present tense to talk about an action that began in the past and continues in the present.
    • J'étudie le françaisdepuis 3 ans.   I've studied French for 3 years (and still do).
  • Pendant means "for" and refers to the entire duration of an action in the past or future, with no relation to the present.
    • J'aiétudié le français pendant 3 ans.   I studied French for 3 years (and then stopped).
  • Pendant followed by a noun means "during." In this sense, it is synonymous with durant.
    • J'ai vu un film pendant monséjour.    I saw a film during my stay.
  • “Il y a” means "ago" and can only be used for things that are already completed. The verb in the sentence must be in the past and il y a must be followed by some reference to time.
    • Je suisarrivéeil y a uneheure.    I arrived an hour ago.
  • Pourmeans for. It can express the duration of an event only in the future. Note that pendant could also be used in all of these.
  • Je vais y habiter pour 2 mois.   I'm going to live there for 2 months.
  • Il étudiera en Europe pour 3 ans. He'll study in Europe for 3 years.
  • Le projetestsuspendu pour un an. The project is suspended for a year.
be careful
Be careful…
  • Although the verb in the final example is not in the future, the use of pour indicates that the one-year suspension is either about to start or is currently underway. If the suspension had already occurred, you would have to use pendant:Le projet a étésuspendu pendant un an.  The project was suspended for a year.
  • Dans means in. It is used to indicate a moment in the future in which something will occur.
  • Je partiraidansdeux ans.

I will leave in two years.

  • Le film finiradansuneheure.

The film will end in one hour.

  • En means in. It is used to indicate the amount of time needed to complete an action.
  • Je complète le coursen dix minutes.
  • I complete the course in ten minutes.