I was hoping a teacher could help me understand the difference in the meaning of several prepositions of time and in the below noted examples in particular, I mean, I theoretically know much (I guess not enough though) and yet I keep mixing them up sometimes. Let's just assume all sentences start with ''It's happened'' (or take any other that would help you explain the difference and get your point across more easily, just bear in mind that what I'd like to figure out is the difference among these four)
In the last several months
Since the last several months
For the last several months
Over the last several months
Thanks in advance
I guess since can't be used in this case because ''since'' requires a specific point of time to indicate when something started (happening), but what about the other three cases?
You reply (that the other three are correct) doesn't help me much when it comes to getting the difference in the meaning
And there's absolutely no difference in the meaning? There should be, even if a slight one
well, actually perhaps it's my bad, I might've picked out a bad sentence, what about:
I've been seeing her in the last several months
I've been seeing her over the last several months
I've been seeing her for the last several months
PS: To Engee30 - I do apologize for jumping the gun, i didn't mean to be rude, it just came out wrong (I guess it reflected my inability to properly ask/explain my question)
PPS: I mean even if sometimes if feels like the meaning is the same (or similar), different things are implied... So no hints in these sentences, say, regularity, continuity and stuff?
Last edited by alexnrw; 19-Jan-2009 at 15:07.
They all mean a period of time. It has always been one of the biggest mysteries for me too how to distinguish between them.
Just one case where they don't overlap.
The book isn't big. You can read it in a day.
Neither 'for' nor 'over' would do here.
what about this case then:
it's been in the news for the last several months
it's been in the news in the last several months
it's been in the news over the last several months
don't know how to explain that, but in the first case it somehow feels like ''all the time, incessantly'' and in the second one ''during that period of time but not all the time'' (regularly) and in the third (all the time but irregularly?) plus ''over'' makes me feel as if there's something about start and finish, like point A when it started and point B when it ends, like a timespan but I can't quite put my finger on it, I know I'm wrong and it's my imagination working, but
Last edited by alexnrw; 19-Jan-2009 at 15:31.
I don't see enough of a difference either to say that one or the other is incorrect.
I don't particularly like "it's been in the news in the last several months" simply because of using "in" twice. I would say over or during.
The way in which "since" could be used is this: It's been in the news since it started several months ago.