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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    How long before

    "How long before can Korea nuke a US city?"

    What does this term mean "how long before?"

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How long before

    "Before" here means "until." It's like saying:

    - When will Korea be able to nuke a US city?
    - How long will it take for Korea to be able to nuke a US city?
    - How much time will go by before Korea can nuke a US city?

    Fine points:

    1. It's very informal English. There's no verb, but it is natural.

    2. There are two Koreas: North Korea and South Korea. To make sense, you need to specify which.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: How long before

    It's "how long before Korea can?" not "how long before can Korea?"

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How long before

    Good save, Dave. How long (will it be) before Korea can nuke the U.S?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: How long before

    Let's not pussyfoot about. It's only North Korea which might soon have the capability to do this.

    South Korea suffers badly from its proximity to the monstrous regime of its neighbour.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 02-Jun-2016 at 23:15.

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    #6

    Re: How long before

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post

    2. There are two Koreas: North Korea and South Korea. To make sense, you need to specify which.
    Everybody knows its North Korea.

    Can this be used in past tense as well?
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 03-Jun-2016 at 08:09. Reason: Pruning the quote to isolate the point referred to.

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    #7

    Re: How long before

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    Everybody knows it's North Korea. No, they don't. You cannot assume that.

    Can this be used in the past tense as well? Why would you think that when it hasn't happened yet, and hopefully never will?
    .

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    #8

    Re: How long before

    "You got it wrong. I was asking about how long before".
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 03-Jun-2016 at 13:14.

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    #9

    Re: How long before

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    "You got it wrong. I was asking about how long before".
    I don't understand what you're trying to say.

    Don't use quotation marks when you are not quoting something.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: How long before

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    Everybody knows its North Korea.

    Can this be used in past tense as well?
    I know it. You know it. That doesn't make "Korea" correct. The writer needs to add the word "North."

    It's like the other thread someone has going about Southern America. It's not enough that we know it should be "the southern United States." It has to SAY "the southern United States."
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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