It's been a long time no see

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Frenchy's rule

Senior Member
I know "It's been a long time" and "Long time no see" are both correct, but can I say "It's been a long time no see" ?
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hello, Frenchy's Rule. Although I'd understand you if you said this, I don't recommend that you mix these two. People will probably think that you've made a mistake and try to correct you. That can get annoying. :)


    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Both expressions can be used (separately; not combined!) in similar circumstances, but note that the set expression Long time no see (which at its origin was an imitation of a non-native's attempt to express this idea--see here) is much less standard than It's been a long time (since we've met).

    Long time no see is mostly conversational; you would not generally use it in formal or business writing.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English-US (New York City)
    "Long time no see" is very informal and, in fact, can be offensive to Asian-Americans because the expression originates from the broken English of Asian immigrants, especially Chinese. When I was a child growing up, I've heard Chinese immigrants in New York say long time no see firsthand, especially when I've visited a Chinese restaurant in my old neighborhood years afterwards; the restaurant owner knew my family.

    You're better off saying, "I haven't seen you in such a long time" or, even better, "I haven't seen you in ages."
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