I've been here a few times already
I've been here for a few times already

Are they interchangeable? When do you use which?

  • The version without "for" sounds more natural to me. "For" would normally precede a duration in a sentence like that, as in "I've been here for several hours", meaning that the speaker has been there for several continuous hours leading up to the present time. – Andy Schweig Dec 11 '16 at 1:10

When the present perfect ("I have been", "He has gone", "We have travelled", ...) is used to say how long something has been happening or going on, the time indication is introduced by "for". When it is used to say how often something has happened, we don't use "for".

With "for" (i.e. how long):

  • "The current owners have been here for a few years as it has suited bringing up their children." (Rightmove)
  • "We have been here for a few days (...)" (review on TripAdvisor)
  • "I live in France, have been here for a few years and still learning the lingo, (...)" (British Penpals)

Without "for" (i.e. how often):

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