Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Preliminary

Vocabulary practice for the Cambridge PET exam

Grammar: Prepositions of Time: DURING, FOR, WHILE

1: Work it Out

The prepositions 'during', 'for' and 'while' are often used to describe points in time. But do you know when each are used?

Look at these sentences. Pay attention to the words in bold and note when we use 'during', 'for' and 'while'.

Please turn your phones off during the talk.
I'll watch TV while you're working.
While I was doing my homework my mum was cooking dinner.
She's been working at the university for a long time.
Can you wait here for a minute?
I think I'll go out for a walk while the sun is shining.
During the day he likes to go out for a run.
I need a break. I've been working for 6 hours now.
I'm going to be away on holiday during September.
Can you water my plants while I'm away?

Now try the quiz below to check your ideas.

2: Spot the Difference

Complete each of the following sentences using 'during', 'for' or 'while':

A) Could you be quiet I do my homework?
B) There was a lot of noise from outside the lesson.
C) I was travelling to work I saw an accident.
D) I haven't been to a football match ages.
E) I'm usually quite busy the day.
F) They've been best friends many years.
G) I first saw the film we were on holiday in Spain.
H) I've lived in London most of my life.
I) It poured down with rain the night.
J) Can you take care of the baby I make a telephone call?
K) his childhood, my dad spent time in France.
L) I waited half an hour before the bus came.

Well done. We use 'during' before a noun or pronoun. 'While' is followed by a subject and verb. 'For' is used to show how long something or someone has been doing something. It is used to describe a period of time and is usually used with a noun or a pronoun. ' Your answer has been saved. Check your answer





Study Tip, Grammar

Need more practice in prepositions of time? Write some sentences about your life using 'during', 'for' and 'while'.

* During the weekend I like to ****
* I've lived in **** for **** years.
* I often **** while I travel to school.