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  1. #1
    ansonguy is offline Junior Member
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    difference between for a long time and for long

    I am going to make up two similar sentences below.

    (1) He didn't read novelsfor a long time.

    (2) He didn't read novels for long.

    Some of my non-native English speaking friends think the two phrases make the sentences have different meanings. I don't see why. Can someone please explain the difference? Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Re: difference between for a long time and for long

    They do have different meanings. The first one suggests that, at some point in the past, he spent "a long time" without reading a novel. Perhaps he didn't read a novel for a period of ten years (it depends what the writer considers to be a long time).
    The second suggests that he used to read novels and, when he read them, he only read for perhaps five or ten minutes at a time. He didn't read a novel for, say, two hours solid.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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