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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
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    Default Are there other ways to emphasize duration of the verb "look for" in this situation?

    Here's the situation:
    I have a dog (a corgie)), Spot his name is. I love Spot very much. One day I went to the park to walk Spot as usual. Suddenly he saw a stray cat and ran after it so quickly that I lost the sight of him. I LOOKED FOR (WAS LOOKING FOR) Spot for three hours but I couldn't find him. Feeling very sad I had to go back home. Imagine how happy I was when I saw Spot waiting for me there at my door!

    I want to put stress on duration of the verb "to look for".
    I looked (long) for my dog for three hours but I couldn't find him. So I had to return home.
    OR
    I looked for my dog for three hours (which is a long time) but I couldn't find him. So I had to return home.

    Now I think that the best way to emphasize the duration of "look for" in this case would be: I looked and looked for the dog... It would be the closest to the idea that I want to express, but then I can't use "for three hours" (or can I?). So I'm wondering if there are some other ways to do it.?

    Could you please make my story sound more natural by correcting mistakes if any?
    P.S. I've only just noticed that there is a separate thread on this subject "derived" from one of the previously started.
    Last edited by englishhobby; 10-Feb-2013 at 07:41.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. #2
    Esgaleth's Avatar
    Esgaleth is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Are there other ways to emphasize duration of the verb "look for" in this situati

    NOT A NATIVE SPEAKER

    It reads as a simple narrative where events were described as facts; some - due to the nature of these events (ran, lost, etc) - happened quite fast, others - again, due to the nature of such events (looked for) took certain time to occur.

    ps. Even in Russian your 'looking for the dog' doesn't call for duration, imo, it would sound more of the Perfect aspect.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Are there other ways to emphasize duration of the verb "look for" in this situati

    If you want to emphasize the time you could say 'I spent X hours looking for it'. But I think 'looked and looked' would be fine. You're right to say 'I looked and looked for 3 hours' sounds odd; but you could combine the two and say 'I looked and looked for it; I spent three hours looking'.

    b

  4. #4
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are there other ways to emphasize duration of the verb "look for" in this situati

    In Russian "Ya iskala sobaku (tselykh tri chasa)" - it's the imperfective aspect. The use of the perfective aspect (poiskala) here would change the meaning of the sentence so that the duration wouldn't be emphasized, on the contrary, it would show that the action didn't last long.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  5. #5
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Are there other ways to emphasize duration of the verb "look for" in this situati

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    If you want to emphasize the time you could say 'I spent X hours looking for it'. But I think 'looked and looked' would be fine. You're right to say 'I looked and looked for 3 hours' sounds odd; but you could combine the two and say 'I looked and looked for it; I spent three hours looking'.

    b
    I think it's the best option.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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