I have some doubt if the phrases below are correct.

1) for the last 10 minutes

2) during the last 10 minutes

I suppose that 1) means that some process has been going on during a period of time,

e.g. Firefighters have been extinguishing fire for the last 10 minutes.

As for 2), I would say

There was no aircraft landing during the last 10 minutes.

meaning that "No aircraft landed within a period of 10 minutes before this moment".

Am I right?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you are right. "For the last X" means that there was pretty well continuous performance of the associated verb during the period X but "During the last X" usually means that a burst of performance of that verb lasting less than X took place within the last X. There are a few exceptions, for instance "I have been ringing your doorbell every 5 minutes for the last hour" means repeated short bursts of activity and "Temperatures here were below zero centigrade continuously during the last ice age" means that they stayed below zero for the whole period; however in normal use your interpretation is correct.

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