Learn how to talk about how long something happens for, and do the exercises to practise it.

Level: beginner

We use for to say how long:

We have been waiting for twenty minutes.
They lived in Manchester for fifteen years.

We can also use a noun phrase without for:

Let’s go. We’ve been waiting nearly an hour.
I’ve worked here twenty years.

We use since with the present perfect or the past perfect to say when something started:

I have worked here since December.
They had been watching since seven o’clock in the morning.

How long 1

MultipleSelection_MTU3OTY

We use from … to/until to say when something starts and finishes:

They stayed with us from Monday to Friday.
We will be on holiday from the sixteenth until the twentieth.

Be careful!

We can use to or until with a noun phrase:

My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 to her death.
My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 until her death.

But we can only use until with a clause

My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 to she died.
My great-grandmother lived in Liverpool from 1940 until she died.

How long 2

ReorderingHorizontal_MTU3NTM

Do you need to improve your English grammar?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English grammar with our online courses.
Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 13/07/2020 - 02:01

Permalink
It's an helpful tip.
Profile picture for user amit_ck

Submitted by amit_ck on Fri, 28/12/2018 - 17:08

Permalink
Hi, If someone will get holiday for 10 days, how can ask in proper way that “how many days/how long he got his holiday” and after passing his holiday “how long/how many days he had his holiday.”
Profile picture for user amit_ck

Submitted by amit_ck on Sat, 29/12/2018 - 04:40

In reply to by amit_ck

Permalink
Sir you didn't answer my question. Could you please answer my question. Thank you.

Hello amit_ck,

Please be patient when waiting for answers to questions. We are a small team here at LearnEnglish and we receive many questions every day. While we try to answer as quicky as we can, sometimes it can take a few days. Posting messages asking us to respond more quickly only slows the process down.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I'm really really sorry sir I couldn't understan. Thank you for helping me.
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Sun, 30/12/2018 - 08:19

In reply to by amit_ck

Permalink

Hi amit_ck,

I'm not sure I entirely understand the context here, but I'll try to answer.

I think the best option for the first question would be:

How long will the holiday last?

or

How long will the holiday be?

 

For the second question I would say:

How long did the/his/your holiday last?

or

How long was the/his/your holiday?

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team