For a while

Ontheverge

New Member
Greek
The staff has known for a while that they might lose their jobs .

How is it possible to know something “for a while” . I thought that this means “for a short time”

Thank you
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    It does mean “for a short time.” If you just recently learned something, it’s perfectly reasonable to say you’ve only known it for a short time. You haven’t known it for very long.

    Can you tell us where you found this sentence?
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Actually, you’re right, and I don’t know where my brain was when I wrote my previous post. “For a while” does refer to a longer period of time. (I was thinking of “for a little while.”:oops:)
     

    Ontheverge

    New Member
    Greek
    I found this sentence in a multiple choice problem with answers
    A) recently
    B) for long
    C) so far
    D) for a while

    I would choose A but the correct is D .
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    In that case, it’s not really about the meaning of the phrase, but about grammar. D is the only option that’s grammatically correct.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I would choose A but the correct is D .
    Answer A would have been correct if the verb had been learned or discovered or found out instead of known. You use recently in connection with something that has happened. Knowledge doesn't happen, but is the result of something that has happened.
     

    Ontheverge

    New Member
    Greek
    Answer A would have been correct if the verb had been learned or discovered or found out instead of known. You use recently in connection with something that has happened. Knowledge doesn't happen, but is the result of something that has happened.
    Thank you !

    In that case, it’s not really about the meaning of the phrase, but about grammar. D is the only option that’s grammatically correct.
    Thanks !
     
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