how late?/for how long?/until when?

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haseli22

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Dear native speakers,

Which one is the most native-like question to the following statement?

A: I'm going to saty here. B: How late? or For how long? or Until when?

Thanks
 

Route21

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Which do you think and what potential concerns do you have with the one you have chosen.

PS We don't do homework.
 

haseli22

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This is not a homework!!!! Someone asked me this question. She said that "how late?" is correct, but I haven't heard it! I think the most appropriate is "For how long?" and if then "Until when?"
Please be a bit more helpful to nonnatives!!!!!!
 

Route21

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As an NES but not an English teacher:

Many apologies if you feel offended, but my original comment: "Which do you think and what potential concerns do you have with the one you have chosen." was valid. Without such information it makes your query sound very much like you haven t done your own "homework" on the question before submitting it.

With the new information you have now provided it makes it easier to see your problem.

1. How late: This tends to sugest: "What time (today) are you planning on leaving?" Maybe she was hinting? :-D:-D
2. How long: This one could be answered in terms of hours, days or weeks etc, i.e. could extend beyond the current day.
3. Until when: This one could encompass the timing of either 1 or 2

Hope this helps clear up the misunderstanding.

Best regards
R21
 

5jj

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Please be a bit more helpful to nonnatives!!!!!!
And please be a little less ready to take offence when none is intended.
 

emsr2d2

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I would say that the most common combination would be:

John: I'm going to stay here.
Dave: How long?

Dave's question is basically a shortened version of "How long are you going to stay here?" Of course, some people will tell you that both the long and short versions need "For" before "How" - the majority of native speakers don't bother with it.

However, there's an argument to be made for using "How late?" too. If the two people are at a party and are discussing whether they are enjoying it or not, and therefore whether or not to stay, you might hear a conversation like the following:

John: The party's not that bad, I suppose. I think I'll hang around for a bit.
Dave: OK. How late? If you're not staying long, I might stay too and then we can share a cab home.
 

5jj

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The responses from R21 and ems show us yet again how difficult it can be to give clear answers to short phrases, or even long sentences sometimes, without real context. Learners probably get a little frustrated and/or bored sometimes by our insistence on context, but the simple fact is that, without context, we often genuinely cannot say exactly what a word or phrase means.

'Where's the head? ' may be asking about the whereabouts of the principal of a school, of that part of the body above the neck that may be missing from some dead beast, or of something else. It may also be asking someone to identify the main part of a phrase.

'Who's the fish?' may seem to be an unlikely question. Uttered at a fancy-dress party, or by a waiter bringing a dish to a table, it may be natural and meaningful.
 

Route21

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Indeed, even the term "English teacher", which we tend to take for granted, can mean different things depending on the context.

I believe what is really meant by the term, on this forum, is an English-specialist teacher, rather than, say, a specialist maths teacher who happens to come from the UK, but is not specifically an English specialist.

Regards
R21
 

BobK

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Incidentally:
This is not a homework!:cross:...
Think about countability.

These are OK.
  • This is not homework. [Homework: a piece of work - typically several tasks/questions, or an essay, which is likely to take half an hour or more.]
  • This is not a piece of homework.
  • This is not a homework task.

b
 

BobK

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Incidentally:
This is not a homework!:cross:...
Think about countability.

These are OK.
  • This is not homework. [Homework: a piece of work - typically several tasks/questions, or an essay, which is likely to take half an hour or more.]
  • This is not a piece of homework.
  • This is not a homework task.

b
 
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