10 minutes late / late for 10 minutes

Kenny Chang

Senior Member
Chinese(Traditional)
Hi, everyone. I have three sentences below:
1. I will be 10 minutes late.
2. I was late for 10 minutes.
3. I have been late for 10 minutes.

In my opinion, three of them are correct, but they are used in different situations. The following is my explanation:
(attending a meeting)
1. I will be 10 minutes late.
> I'm still on my way to the meeting. If the meeting starts at 10:00, I will be there at 10:10.
2. I was late for 10 minutes.
> I was already late for the meeting, which was held in the past. If my friend asks me "How did the meeting go?" I might say "I screwed it up. I was late for 10 minutes. The boss was really mad!"
3. I have been late for 10 minutes.
> I haven't arrived at the meeting yet. Maybe I'm still in a cab. And I tell the driver "Excuse me, but can you drive a little faster, because I've been late for a meeting for 10 minutes."

Is my explanation acceptable to you? Thank you. :)
 
  • Kenny Chang

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Traditional)
    Thank you very much. So if I change for to by, will they be all correct?
    2. I was late for 10 minutes.
    > I was already late for the meeting, which was held in the past. If my friend asks me "How did the meeting go?" I might say "I screwed it up. I was late by 10 minutes. The boss was really mad!"
    3. I have been late by 10 minutes.
    > I haven't arrived at the meeting yet. Maybe I'm still in a cab. And I tell the driver "Excuse me, but can you drive a little faster, because I've been late for a meeting by 10 minutes."
     

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    Y
    I was already late for the meeting, which was held in the past. If my friend asks me "How did the meeting go?" I might say "I screwed it up. I was late by 10 minutes. The boss was really mad!"

    I haven't arrived at the meeting yet. Maybe I'm still in a cab. And I tell the driver "Excuse me, but can you drive a little faster, because I've been late for a meeting by 10 minutes."
    The first is possible. The second doesn't work
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    “By 10 minutes” is just an explanation of what “10 minutes late” means. It’s not a better way to say it — except when comparing different lengths of time.

    He was late for work yet again today.
    How late?
    10 minutes. But one day last week he was nearly half an hour late. In fact, he’s been late by anything from a couple of minutes to nearly three-quarters of an hour every day for weeks.
     

    Kenny Chang

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Traditional)
    Thank you, tunaafi and lingobingo. Then if I want to express the situation like the second one and the third one, what can I say?
    I was ten minutes late...?
    I have been 10 minutes late...?
     

    galakha

    Member
    Ukrainian
    Let's assume I informed a person I should meet that I would be 30 minutes late. Now I'm already 30 minutes late to the meeting and I can't make it there in next 30 minutes. So what should I tell the person, considering the possible lateness?

    1) I'll be other 30 minutes late.
    2) I'll be another hour late.
    3) I'll be other two hours late.

    Are all the sentences correct?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Let's assume I informed a person I should meet that I would be 30 minutes late. Now I'm already 30 minutes late to the meeting and I can't make it there in next 30 minutes. So what should I tell the person, considering the possible lateness?

    1) I'll be other 30 minutes late.
    2) I'll be another hour late.
    3) I'll be other two hours late.

    Are all the sentences correct?
    You are 30 minutes late. You expect it to take 30 minutes more. That's one hour.
    1) "other" is wrong. "another" fixes it.
    2) 30 minutes plus another hour is an hour and 30 minutes - too much.
    3) "other" is wrong and fixing it would make you two hours and 30 minutes late - way too much.
     

    galakha

    Member
    Ukrainian
    The time it takes to get there doesn't matter. I should have written "in next 30 minutes or so" and "grammatical" instead of "correct".
    So as I understand it's grammatical to say "I'll be another 30 minutes/two hours/few hours late"?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So as I understand it's grammatical to say "I'll be another 30 minutes/two hours/few hours late"?
    No. that’s not normal. You would only add “late” when first telling someone you’re running behind schedule. After that, if giving an update on your progress, you’d simply say how much longer it will take you to get there. There are lots of different ways of saying this sort of thing. For example:

    I’ll be with you in half an hour
    This is just to let you know I‘m on my way but I’ll be at least 10 minutes late
    I’ll be another 30 minutes yet – sorry!
    It’ll take me at least another half-hour/half an hour to get there
     
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