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    #1

    Before long vs after a while

    Please explain to me what is the correct choice between - I'm sure Fiona will be here before long/after a while. (and why). Many thanks. I think that the correct answer should be after a while

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Before long vs after a while

    Quote Originally Posted by olegv View Post
    Please explain to me what is the correct choice between - I'm sure Fiona will be here before long/after a while. (and why). Many thanks. I think that the correct answer should be after a while
    Both are possible.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Before long vs after a while

    I would use "I'm sure Fiona will be here before long" or "I'm sure Fiona will be here in a while" or "I'm sure Fiona will be here soon". I wouldn't use "after a while".

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    #4

    Re: Before long vs after a while

    Thank you for all your expanations. Please give an advice for the following situation. It appears that I am confused about the right choice. Advanced Language Practice by Michael Vince (which appears to be the reliable grammar preparation source) suggest choosing the most appropriate word. Some of yours (as native English teachers) say that both options work. At the same time, the grammar book says that only one option is the most appropriate. Please give me a practical advice of how to treat such collision. Many thanks.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Before long vs after a while

    I tend to use "after a while" with the past tense.

    She sat in the park and, after a while, her friends arrived.
    I sunbathed but after a while I was bright red and went indoors.

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    #6

    Re: Before long vs after a while

    I wouldn't use after a while with will in the example- like emsr2d2, I tend to use it with the past tense.

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    #7

    Re: Before long vs after a while

    If I am waiting for Fiona, I would rather hear that she will be here before long.

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