Pope Benedict XVI is in Britain from September 16-19, making the first Papal visit to the UK for 28 years.

I would have used 'in' instead of "for". To me, the use of "for"is incorrect. Please guide me.
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Yes you're right Jackson, 'in' should be used here instead of 'for'. Very good! Emotion: smile
Jandros, thanks a lot.
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'In' is certainly more common, but I wouldn't say that 'for' is wrong.

eg Check here, first paragraph

I don't see how "for" structure is not wrong - not because BBC uses it? "for" is used in sentences like "I have been living here for the last 20 years" and "in" in sentences like "I have only eaten ice cream twice in the previous two years". Please guide me.
With respect to news journalists, please don't depend on every journalist to always use correct English! More and more I see obvious mistakes in writing; not so much in speaking, but certainly in written news articles. It's really sad that professionals are getting more and more careless in the quality of their communications.

In questions like this, I always advise people to see if the word "within" can be substituted for "in". If it works, if it provides a true and literal definition, then "in" is probably the most correct word:

A Pope has not visited the UK within the period of the last 28 years ... within the last 28 years ... in 28 years.

It is possible (arguable) that 'for' can be used in this sentence or in similar phrases. But as confusing as prepositions can be, I advise the best or simplest choice, or the most common usage. This is one case where 'in' is definitely a better choice than 'for'.
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According to Practical English Usage (Michael Swan 2005), in and for can both be used to talk about duration after negatives and superlatives, and in is particularly common in American English.

I think that first is acting as a superlative in the sample sentence, so in and for are both acceptable.

If we replaced first with second, we would have to say:
"...the second Papal visit to the UK in 28 years."
With sincerest respect calpurnia, I believe in trying to simplify (unclutter) practical learning as much as possible. Even if something is acceptable by technical definition, it still may not be as natural, as comfortable, as appropriate, or as universally common.

I also don't think 'first' can be called a superlative here ... As I see it, it's just a simple numerical/sequential, and to me it doesn't matter if it's the second, third or tenth visit. The structure and intent of the example are still the same.

But as always regarding prepositions, this is interesting and I'm all ears Emotion: smile
I wonder if this is another difference between American and British English? I'm a native British English speaker, and for sounds perfectly natural to me in this context.
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