Difference Between Since and Ago (With Table)

Since vs Ago

The English language has different terminologies to mention the time factor in the sentences. Of course, the usage of correct tense forms can determine the time, but what do we do while talking about a ‘certain point in time?’

English is classical when it comes to the bifurcation of any aspect. The aspect of time is also dealt impeccably for every possible instance of time.

There are two important instances in time. One is ‘Period’ and the other is ‘Point in Time’. These two make a whole lot of difference in time factor while mentioning it in sentences.

Over a period of time; A year, A month, 10 years, summer, etc.

The point in time is specific; One year, 2 days, 30 minutes so and so forth.

Indeed, the examples cited in both the categories may also feature in either case, depending on the context of the sentence.

The two important words which play a vital role in enunciating ‘point in time’ alone are ‘Since’ and ‘Ago’. They both fall under the same bracket of ‘past’, however, there are many differences between the two.

The main difference between Since and Ago is, ‘Since’ denotes something that is still happening till the present, however ‘Ago’ is the word which points out time in the past.


 

Comparison Table Between Since and Ago (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonSinceAgo
Purpose‘Since’ indicates an event that is happening from the past to the present.‘Ago’ is used to indicate a time in the past.
Order of Placement‘Since’ is always placed before the specific point in time in the sentence.‘Ago’ is always placed after a specific point in time in the sentence.
Tense Form‘Since’ is always featured in Present Perfect tense sentences.‘Ago’ is always featured in past tense sentences.
Usage‘Since’ is used to point out a specific point in time.‘Ago’ is used to point an event that has actioned or changed in the past.
Place in the Sentence‘Since’ is the word that always features either at the start or in the middle of the sentence.‘Ago’ always features at the end of the sentence.

 

When to Use the Word Since?

‘Since’ is the word that is used to indicate a happening in the past which is continuing. ‘Since points’ out a specific point in time in the past.

For E.g.

  1. They were living since 4 years.
  2. Alice is playing cricket on the ground since last month.

If the above sentences are analyzed, 2 aspects can be found

  1. The happening of the past is continuing until the present
  2. The sentence points out at a specific point in time.

Moreover, ‘Since’ is always used before the specific point in time mentioned in the sentence.

For E.g.

  1. They have been studying since 20 minutes.
  2. Lilly has been reading this book since last week.

As it is noticed, the word ‘Since’ is always placed before a specific point in time.

Reiterating the same, ‘Since’ is used before a specific point in time in a sentence and also denotes the action which is still happening till the present.

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‘Since’ is often observed to be used in Present Perfect Tense Sentences.  ‘Since’ is the word used to denote happenings that are continuing, It is a word used before a specific point in time and also feature in present perfect tense sentences.

Since usage
Since
 

When to Use the Word Ago?

‘Ago’ is the word that is used to simply points the time in the past. ‘Ago’ is usually mentioned in past tense sentences.

For E.g.

  1. He lived there 5 years ago.
  2. The war happened centuries ago.

On analyzing the above two sentences, two things can be identified.

  1. The specific point in time is mentioned in the sentences.
  2. The sentences talk about something that happened ‘a period’ earlier.

‘Ago’ is primarily used to indicate a particular happening in the past which is over. Unlike ‘Since’ Ago does not feature in any present perfect tense sentences. 

The word ‘Ago’ is always mentioned after the specific point in time in sentences.

For E.g. 

  1. The destruction happened 10 years ago.
  2. They left the house 2 months ago.

‘Ago’ is the word that can be used in two important aspects too.

  1. ‘Ago’ can be used in sentences that talk about the past from the present.
  2. ‘Ago’ can also be used in sentences that talk about the past from the past.

For E.g.

  1. He died long ago.
  2. His mother called an hour ago.

The first sentence deals with the past in time from the present while the second sentence gives the past in time from the past as well.

Ago 1
Ago

Main Differences Between Since and Ago

  1. The main difference between Since and Ago is, ‘Since’ denotes something that is still happening till the present, however ‘Ago’ is the word which points out time in the past.
  2. ‘Since’ is always placed before the specific point in time whereas ‘Ago’ is placed after the specific point in time in a sentence.
  3. ‘Since’ often features in present perfect tense sentences while ‘Ago’ features in past tense sentences.
  4. ‘Since’ is used to indicate a specific point in time while ‘Ago’ indicates an event or a change in action from the past.
  5. ‘Since’ is always paced at the beginning or the middle of the sentence while ‘Ago’ is placed at the end of the sentence.

 

Conclusion

The best use of terms and identifying contexts to fit in the right words is an art. The English language teaches that particular art of speaking and writing. ‘Since’ and ‘Ago’ almost give the same meaning in a sentence but vary a lot in the contextual aspect. ‘Since’ talks about an event that is happening, while ‘Ago’ talks about a completed event.

This shows a whole lot of difference between these two words. More importantly, the idea of using ‘Since’ or ‘Ago’ depends more on the tense of the sentence too. But, it is clear that ‘Since’ and Ago gives two important action factors over time. 


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Since and Ago

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Since and Ago. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

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References

  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/since
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/ago