This question already has an answer here:


I had no idea how deep the forest really was, though the people around often used the word endless to describe it. And I believed that was the case, for I'd never seen the end of it, not even standing from the tallest balcony.

Will the meaning change if I use since, instead? I'm not sure why, but I feel using for will make the passage sound a bit "dated"?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Feb 5 '14 at 10:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • The choice between for, since and as depends entirely upon the rest of the content, whether it is formal or informal, and if literary or not. Since is overly formal, as is always a convenient option, for is literary. In the example case, use of a direct because would be helping the reader a bit. – Kris Feb 5 '14 at 6:24
  • It's perhaps better to say something like 'dated' rather than 'old English'. 'Old English' is the earliest form of the language, sometimes known as 'Anglo-Saxon'. – Barrie England Feb 5 '14 at 7:30
  • 1
    @Barrie England Thanks, that was the word I was looking for. – janoChen Feb 5 '14 at 7:56

In your example, yes, they may be used interchangeably. I agree that "for" sounds a bit old-fashioned, but as a personal preference, I would use "as" instead - it seems to flow more rhythmically, and all three share "because" as a possible definition.

"And I believed that was the case, as I'd never seen the end of it, not even standing from the tallest balcony."

  • I think that in this case for is less "old-fashioned" than "literary", and I think it works better here than either as or since. (When I read just the one sentence, as sounds fine, but when I read the whole thing, I like for better. Though I'm sure that's subjective.) – ruakh Feb 5 '14 at 5:34
  • I prefer "for" as well, but if OP is really adamant about replacing it, I think "since" is possibly the least appealing option. – hoppergrass Feb 5 '14 at 5:41

When used in a purely time related context it may not work. Couple of examples:

I hadn't done this since high-school.

"For" doesn't work for this sentence.

I haven't been able to enjoy coffee since I quit smoking.


I cannot study since there is no electricity.

Perfectly interchangeable.

As you see, it greatly depends on the context but using "for" when applicable will add variety. And it sounds cooler as far as I'm concerned :)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.