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  1. #1
    tufguy is offline VIP Member
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    What took you so long?

    Is it correct to say "Why is it taking you long to complete this task?" or "What is taking you so long to complete this task" or "What is it that is keeping you from completing the task"? If someone is taking longer that they should to complete any work or task?

    Can we also say "What took you so long" or "what took you so long to reach here" if someone is late?

  2. #2
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    Is it correct to say "Why is it taking you so long to complete this task?"

    Yes, as corrected.

    or "What is taking you so long to complete this task" or

    No. Just say, "What's taking you so long?"


    "What is it that is keeping you from completing the task"?

    Yes. It's a little wordy. More natural: "What's keeping you from finishing?"


    If someone is taking longer that they should to complete any work or task, can we also say "What took you so long?" or "What took you so long to get here?" if someone is late?

    Yes, or: "What kept you?"
    Now you know!
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 13-Jan-2021 at 04:23.
    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.

  3. #3
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Tufguy, what short word did you leave out in the OP? (Hint: It's in the title of the thread.)
    Not a professional teacher

  4. #4
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What took you so long?

    "Why is it taking you long to complete this task?"
    I don't think the above is correct. We either say "What is taking you so long..." or "Why are you taking so long...".
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: What took you so long?

    There's nothing wrong with "Why is it taking you so long to ...?", ted.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    Is it correct to say "Why is it taking you so long to complete this task?", or "What is taking you so long to complete this task?" or "What is it that is keeping you from completing the task?" if someone is taking longer that than they should to complete any work or task?
    Note my corrections above.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 13-Jan-2021 at 14:06.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There's nothing wrong with "Why is it taking you so long to ...?", ted.
    The word "so" is not in the original sentence.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    I don't think the above is correct. We either say "What is taking you so long..." or "Why are you taking so long...".
    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    The word "so" is not in the original sentence.
    I realise that but I thought you were suggesting that we only say the two examples shown above, and that it's not natural to use even the corrected version starting "Why is it taking you so long ...?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    tufguy is offline VIP Member
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Tufguy, what short word did you leave out in the OP? (Hint: It's in the title of the thread.)
    It is "So".

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: What took you so long?

    Quote Originally Posted by tufguy View Post
    It is "so".
    emsr2d2
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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