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This question already has an answer here:

Are both "I have been reading an hour already" and "I have been reading for an hour already" correct?

Or "I have been working here 3 years" and "I have been working here for 3 years"?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, P. E. Dant, Ben Kovitz, Varun Nair, Laure Jun 21 '17 at 7:49

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I have been reading for an hour already.
I have been working here for 3 years.

using for sounds more natural and native, though in conversation

I have been here an hour, waiting for you.
I have been here for an hour waiting for you.

might be heard.

  • Haha - your waiting example mirrors the comment I was making as you posted this answer. I'm pretty sure the preposition is less likely to be dropped in contexts like He's been sick for a week than, say, He's been waiting a week (though that second context might be influenced by the fact that you might say He's been waiting for a week for a doctor's appointment, and some people might balk at the repetition). – FumbleFingers Jun 19 '17 at 17:06
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    I think the for my get dropped in that instance because the phrase gets used so often, and you're right it's strongly associated with the passage of time. One case when for would never be dropped: "I've been waiting for bloody ever for you!" – Peter Jun 19 '17 at 18:04
  • Sick a week, dead a week, waiting a week, very common in AmE, and I'd venture to say in other dialects as well. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jun 20 '17 at 12:01
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo: The difference isn't as large as I might have expected, but check out this NGram showing that the preposition is usually not included in the sequence been waiting a week... – FumbleFingers Jun 20 '17 at 12:22
  • ...conversely, it usually is included in been sick for a week. – FumbleFingers Jun 20 '17 at 12:25

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