''A long time'' Vs ''a lot of time''

Hello everyone,

I'd like to know the difference between "a long time" and "a lot of time". I'll provide the contexts to make it more specific. Please take a look.

Example 1:

I spend a long time waiting for the bus. Vs I spend a lot of time waiting for the bus.

Example 2:

I waited a long time for them. Vs I waited a lot of time for them.

Thank you in advance!
  • Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I'd say "a long time" for a single period, while "a lot of time" is the sum of various periods.
    Example 1 means, for example, that in a week I spend a total of 5 hours waiting for buses, so "a lot of time" is correct.
    Example 2 refers to a single occasion, so "I waited a long time for them."


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    "a lot of time" refers to "a large percentage of my total time" and "a long time" refers to a single period of time that is long. :D