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"it's long time"/ "it's been a long time"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by roniy, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    I just openned a new thread becasue the other one asked a little different question and the thread became a mess so to keep everything clear I oppend a new one.

    If it is wrong, please delete my thread.


    what I still don't understand is
    "It's a long time ..."

    It looks like the long time is still in progress maybe it should be like
    "It's a long time that I haven't seen/didn't see you"
    Does it mean the same

    and how

    "It's a long time ..." and "It's been a long time"

    Can express the same period of time ?????

    Is it possible to say
    "It's a long time ..."
    like when you are on the phone with this person and even after this time you are not going to meet him and maybe you are deciding to meet some when in the future .

    However, "It's been a long time" is when you have just met the person you see him and you say it ?????

    Is it correct?
    Thanks.
     
  2. kertek

    kertek Senior Member

    Brussels
    UK English
    Hi Roniy!

    On the phone you can say:
    "It's been a while!"
    "It's been a long time!"
    "It's been a long time since we saw each other!"
    "We haven't seen each other for a long time!"

    When you meet someone in person you can say all these things plus:
    "Long time no see!"

    You can't say "It's a long time", or "it's a long time that we didn't see each other".
     
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Good to get this strange little issue out on its own - thanks roniy.
    I agree with the second part, but not the first.

    It's (been) a long time since we had lunch.
    I'll happily take that with or without the been.

    It's a long time since I was at school.
    I find it difficult to add a been.

    This may be completely irrational, but it makes sense to me. I wish I knew why:D
     
  4. TravisD

    TravisD New Member

    English Ohio, U.S.A.
    panjandrum: I don't see the difference between your two examples. Neither one sounds right to me unless "been" is explicitly included after "it's", and it seems to me that it could be with either one. I usually think of "it's" as "it is". I suppose if you follow it with "been" (i.e. part of the conjugation of "to be" in the form "has been"), that would logically imply that "it's" is a contraction of "it has" instead of "it is". Basically, "It's a long time" is "It is a long time" and present tense as far as I'm concerned; and "It's been a long time is "it has been a long time" and past tense.
    Roniy: you need to use past tense or future. If it's been a long time since you were at school, that was in the past. If it's been a long time since you have seen someone, it enters the past when you see them again and say "it's been a long time". If they are leaving you might say "It will (it'll) be a long time before I see you again.
     
  5. kertek

    kertek Senior Member

    Brussels
    UK English
    Hello Panjandrum!

    You're absolutely right. I'm sorry I wasn't clear - I was trying to explain that you can't say "It's a long time" as a whole sentence (as you can "it's been a long time") but I see now that Roniy hadn't suggested that you could. Thanks for clearing that one up!
     
  6. SofiaB Senior Member

    English Asia
    I think Panj's version is colloquial but not necessarily grammatically correct.
    I agree with the version that it's here is it has not it is. I have also noticed that although many people use it's for it has some only use it for it is.
    There is definitely some grey area here and hard to get a definitive answer.
     
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Ah - of course. I mean I knew that:p But it wasn't in my head at all until you mentioned it:eek: Thanks, it helps a lot.

    Perhaps the "It is a long time ..." version is older/ newer than "It has been a long time ...". I keep hearing a sentence that begins, "It is xxx years since ..." but I can't pin it down to any reference or context. It just sounds old:)
     
  8. roniy Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    ISRAEL: Fluent Hebrew ( Speak Russian, Learning English)
    Ok I think I understand that except one thing

    When you say "it's a long time since I saw you"
    It doesn't imply that you are still not going to see him for a while and perhaps you are going to see him some when in the future ????
     
  9. Ricky78 New Member

    Italian
    Hi Guys! :)

    I have just watched a movie and I cried a lot...

    Can I say to someone:

    "If you wanna watch a touching movie rent this one... It's so/a long time I didn't cry"

    What I wanna say is that I don't usually cry for a movie but I did it.

    Thank you!
     
  10. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    I would say:
    It's [= It has] been a long time since I cried at a movie.
    I see that not everyone who has contributed to the thread would say it that way.

    Note: Please use "want to" instead of "wanna" when writing in this forum. ;)
     
  11. Ricky78 New Member

    Italian
    Are you sure I can't say "for a movie"?

    It sounds so weird to me... I mean, in Italian we always use for to express a cause and at just to say where we were (I saw the movie at home/the cinema etc.) :)
     
  12. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    ... since I cried at a movie sounds good enough to me. Nobody will imagine that you cried in the cinema for reasons other than the film. However, if you want to indicate cause more clearly, for isn't right. You cry about something or over something. But I don't think I'd use either of them here; you could say ...since a movie made me cry.

    On the question of It's a long time since... or It's been a long time since..., I think both sound right to a British ear but the first sounds wrong to Americans.
     

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