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Thread: How Long More?


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    #1

    Question How Long More?

    This is a question of grammar. I am aware sentence #1 below is preferred over sentence #2, but the question I wish to ask is whether sentence #2 is grammatically correct with the use of 'how long more'?

    Sentence #1
    How much longer is he going to test me before I can marry Belle?

    Sentence #2
    How long more is he going to test me before I can marry Belle?

    Thank you for your advice.

  1. Kraken's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: How Long More?

    I don't think you can say "How long more" instead of "How much longer", in the same way you wouldn't say "more long" instead of "longer".

    But I'm not a teacher.


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    #3

    Question Re: How Long More?

    I'll still be needing advice on this from a Language Teacher, please.

    Thank you.


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    #4

    Re: How Long More?

    Only if you want to sound like a simpleton..

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How Long More?

    Quote Originally Posted by edmondng View Post
    This is a question of grammar. I am aware sentence #1 below is preferred over sentence #2, but the question I wish to ask is whether sentence #2 is grammatically correct with the use of 'how long more'?

    Sentence #1
    How much longer is he going to test me before I can marry Belle?

    Sentence #2
    How long more is he going to test me before I can marry Belle?

    Thank you for your advice.
    I'm not a teacher, but I am a native speaker and I write for a living, so perhaps you'll give credence to my response. #2 is not correct.

    How long will you be?
    How much longer will you be?
    Will you be much longer?
    But NOT: *How long more will you be?


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    #6

    Re: How Long More?

    Teachers don't decide how we use language; speakers do so Barb's advice is as solid as a teacher's is. Having said that and I don't disagree with Barb on this collocation, it sounds odd to me too, however, speech is not always a perfect thing.

    It's certainly possible that you'll hear this from people speaking casually and quickly.

    How long more will you need?

    We start talking a certain way and shift mid-thought. The result, things do not always come out as we would like. But we do not feel any great compulsion to start over because the message has been communicated.

    How should ESLs handle it. Avoid it of course. Barb gave a number of alternatives. Focus on those but be aware that you are going to hear a lot of things that you never encountered in your studies. Why? Because speech has rules all its own, rules that are much much too complex to provide in their entirety.


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    #7

    Re: How Long More?

    Further to my last post.

    The Whiteness of Nerds: Superstandard English and Racial Markedness

    Mary Bucholtz - Texas A&M University

    ...

    Although there are numerous sociolinguistic treatments of Standard English
    from a variety of perspectives (e.g., Crowley 1989; Milroy and Milroy
    1999; Silverstein 1996), scholarly opinion is remarkably unanimous. In nearly
    every discussion Standard English is located in opposition to nonstandard
    English (and sometimes to other languages); many commentators point out
    that Standard English, as it is usually defined, is not spoken at all but is a
    particular register of written language; and a number of authors note that
    Standard English does not, properly speaking, exist but rather is a prescriptive
    ideal.
    [emphasis is mine]

  3. banderas's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: How Long More?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Further to my last post.



    [emphasis is mine]
    Perhaps English grammar books should be updated and I am not being sarcastic now, I mean it. What do you think, Riverkid?


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    #9

    Re: How Long More?

    Quote Originally Posted by banderas View Post
    Perhaps English grammar books should be updated and I am not being sarcastic now, I mean it. What do you think, Riverkid?
    I couldn't agree more, Banderas.

    And the good ones have been. The good ones make clear distinctions between the spoken language and the written language, just as good teachers must.

    They accurately describe the meanings of Standard and Nonstandard forms of English and they refrain from using loaded terms like incorrect/bad English/etc.

    The bad ones, and there still are many out there, cling to outdated prescriptions which really aren't helpful to anyone.
    Last edited by riverkid; 22-May-2008 at 02:36.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: How Long More?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Teachers don't decide how we use language; speakers do so Barb's advice is as solid as a teacher's is. Having said that and I don't disagree with Barb on this collocation, it sounds odd to me too, however, speech is not always a perfect thing.


    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    It's certainly possible that you'll hear this from people speaking casually and quickly.

    How long more will you need?

    We start talking a certain way and shift mid-thought. The result, things do not always come out as we would like. But we do not feel any great compulsion to start over because the message has been communicated.
    But I think in this case the syntax maybe shifts with you, and "more" becomes an adjective with an implied "time". But if the 'time' has already been made explicit by the context.... I can imagine either of these exchanges:

    I need more time./How much more?
    I need more time./How much longer?
    and
    I need more time./How long more?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post

    How should ESLs handle it. Avoid it of course. Barb gave a number of alternatives. Focus on those but be aware that you are going to hear a lot of things that you never encountered in your studies. Why? Because speech has rules all its own, rules that are much much too complex to provide in their entirety.
    But I agree with this piece of advice!

    b

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