Posted by: Idioma Extra | September 8, 2011

Thursday Tidbit – For or during?


In Spanish, the use of the word durante often causes some confusion when Spanish speakers try to use during in English. It is used differently in English than it is in Spanish. In most cases, the use of the word durante in Spanish would translate to for in English. Let’s look at a few examples of for and during:


In English, we use the preposition during express a period of time or event during which, another thing happens. Here are some examples:

Someone turned off the music during the party.

During my high school years, I was very active in sports.

We always go to the beach during the summer months.


There are many uses of for in English, however when referring to time, it is used to express a period of time in which something was happening for the entire length of the time period mentioned. Here are some examples:

I’ve lived in the same apartment for 12 years.

I traveled in Spain for 3 months.

He was exercising for 2 hours.

Check Yourself

Underline the correct preposition (for or during) to complete the sentence.

1. I received a phone call (during / for) my lunch hour.

2. He studied at Harvard (for / during) three years.

3. I have been awake (during / for) one hour.

4. I really enjoy ice skating (during / for) the winter.

5. She has been wearing glasses (during / for) at least 5 years.

6. The police intervened (for / during) the riots.

7. Class usually lasts (during / for) 3 hours.

8. I waited in line at the bank (during / for) a long time.

9. I don’t like it when people call me (during / for) dinner time.

10. He has a hard time seeing while driving (during / for) the night.

Answers to last week’s Grammar Tidbits

1. You’re not allowed to put drinks (on / onto) the table.

2. There is a lot of cat hair (in / into) my pockets.

3. Can you put some ice cubes (in / into) my drink, please?

4. They called the contestants (on / onto) the stage.

5. I entered the information (in / into) the computer.

6. He kept looking (in / into) my eyes.

7. He put too many spices (in / into) the tacos.

8. The cat jumped (onto / on) the table.

9. They sent the shuttle (in / into) space.

10. You should put your computer (into / in) your trunk when parking.

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