If I want to describe something which I haven't done from a duration of time, then what should I use? Consider example:

I haven't met my friend since a year.


I haven't met my friend for a year.

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    For is for a period of time such as a year. Since is for a point of time such as 2012. The second example is correct while the first I think is not. – learner Nov 12 '13 at 13:30

When you are referring to duration, use “for” or “in”; when referring to the last time something happened, use “since”. “Since” will always require that you specify a point in time, not a span.

Your second option is grammatical and perhaps even ideal in BrE. For AmE, if you haven't rendezvoused, visited, or met up with your friend in a year, I recommend you say:

I haven't seen my friend for a year.

It all depends on exactly what you wish to convey, but some people may associate “meeting” with either the impossible-to-repeat act of making someone's acquaintance or the cold sense of business meetings.

  • Thanks. I wasn't aware that meet is restricted to the first time only. "We met for the first time" is quite a common phrase, so I thought any subsequent instances of seeing someone are also called "met". – Masked Man Nov 12 '13 at 18:06
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    I don't think meet is quite so restricted; you can "meet your friend for lunch", for example. And there's also "We meet again!" for an occasion where you encounter someone for a second (or third, fourth, etc.) time. However, I do agree that "meet my friend" is not a normal phrase, I'm just struggling a bit to explain why. – Hellion Nov 12 '13 at 20:08
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    I'm meeting my friend for lunch at the deli. It's been a while since we last met. We used to meet every week to talk politics, but we've met less often since she started dating. I've met her boyfriend three times, each more unpleasant than the last. – choster Nov 12 '13 at 21:05
  • It's certainly possible to communicate other things with this verb, but it's nonetheless important to understand its default implications in order to avoid phrasings that sound a little off. I don't think I'm making a contentious claim to say that on its own this verb tends to convey the idea of making someone's acquaintance. – Tyler James Young Nov 12 '13 at 21:14
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    @choster I simply can't unequivocally recommend “I haven't met him for a year.” If that doesn't sound even a little odd to you, then maybe I'm finicky, but I have to speak to my experience. – Tyler James Young Nov 12 '13 at 22:05

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