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    • Join Date: Sep 2010
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    #1

    How long is it on for?

    when I usually listen to a conversation about a play in a theatre, I hear this question How long is it on for?
    Q1:Could you please tell me what does it mean and what is the supposed answer ? would it be the long of the films ,for example, 2 hours or what ?

    Q2: why we put on here ? it seems weird to me ? sorry but preposition always confusing !!!

  1. Tullia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How long is it on for?

    Quote Originally Posted by zahrah2010 View Post
    when I usually listen to a conversation about a play in a theatre, I hear this question How long is it on for?
    Q1:Could you please tell me what does it mean and what is the supposed answer ? would it be the long of the films ,for example, 2 hours or what ?

    Q2: why we put on here ? it seems weird to me ? sorry but preposition always confusing !!!

    There could be two meanings for "How long is it on for?" in my opinion.

    1> "How long does the play last?"
    The answer could be something like "Two hours with an interval after the first hour."

    2> "How long is the run?"
    (a "run" when we are talking about plays is how many nights the play is being performed for)
    The answer could be something like "It's on until the 18th of September."


    I think there are more natural ways to ask the question if you want to know about the length of the play ("What time does it finish?" "How long is the performance?") so, without context, I would expect meaning 2 to be more likely.



    I'm not really sure why we use "on" in relation to plays, but we also use it for TV shows and films as well. We say "What's on at the cinema this week?" or "Is there anything good on TV tonight?" and "Hamlet will be on at the Globe this season." - any kind of performance, including musical concerts, tends to use on. It's not always required; you can say "There's a great concert (on) at the Bridgewater Hall next week."


    • Join Date: Sep 2010
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    #3

    Re: How long is it on for?

    I see ...

    on might also be used to indicate the state of something being run. For example, when we say to someone turn on the light or TV, Is that right?

    thank you Tullia.

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    #4

    Re: How long is it on for?

    Yes, it is.

    Rover

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