Interested in Language
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
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".
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.
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.
I wouldn't use after a while with will in the example- like emsr2d2, I tend to use it with the past tense.
If I am waiting for Fiona, I would rather hear that she will be here before long.