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 Post subject: "for a long time" versus "in a long time"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:34 pm
Posts: 4
1)Difference between "i have not meet you for a long time" and "i have
not meet you in a long time".
2)Difference between "i like to see you"and "i like seeing you".

I have seen few lines as a verb was used with ing after "to".

But usually we use ing after "for","by".Can we use ing after "to"?

Please explain.


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 Post subject: "for a long time" versus "in a long time"
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:24 pm
Posts: 559
Please ask one question at a time with an appropriate title. This title should be "for a long time" versus "in a long time. As you can see form my answer, it can get very long. I don't want to post 4 different answers because it will be harder for other people to search and find the answer.

"i have not meet you for a long time"
"i have not meet you in a long time"

First, you need to use the past tense of meet, which is "met"

"I have not met you for a long time."
"I have not met you in a long time."

Both are acceptable to say. If you say either of these sentences to a native English speaker, they will not notice which word you used. They will fully understand what you are talking about. Basically, the difference is too small. But there is a correct answer. The correct way to say it is "I have not met you in a long time."

"for" usually includes the entire time from beginning to end
"in" looks at a specific time

"for ten minutes." - time period from 0 to 10 minutes
"in ten minutes." - time period at 10 minutes

"for a long time." - time period from the last time you met, to now
"in a long time." - the end of the long time period

Therefore, it is more correct to say "in a long time."

Here is another example that will help:

"I won't be seeing you for a long time." - Correct sentence. This is talking about a time period that will be long. The focus is on the time period and not after the time period.
"I won't be seeing you in a long time." - This sentence is incorrect and you should not use it. There is not time period afterwards so it does not make sense.

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Steve Kim
English Teacher
TalkEnglish.com Founder


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