What is the longest you have gone without food?

homotopy07

Senior Member
Japanese
(1) What is the longest you have gone without food?

Is "period" or "time" implied after "longest"?

(2) What is the longest period you have gone without food?

(3) What is the longest time you have gone without food?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    By far the most idiomatic version is (1). But even that one is crying out for the addition of “ever”, and would sound infinitely more natural using contractions (What’s, you’ve). It would then be how the vast majority of people would probably ask that question.

    If you really feel the need to pin down what’s notionally being omitted, then – still with the above provisos – I’d go for (3), (6) and (5), in that order.
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    By far the most idiomatic version is (1). But even that one is crying out for the addition of “ever”, and would sound infinitely more natural using contractions (What’s, you’ve). It would then be how the vast majority of people would probably ask that question.

    If you really feel the need to pin down what’s notionally being omitted, then – still with the above provisos – I’d go for (3), (6) and (5), in that order.
    Thanks a lot, lingo. :) Now I think I should use the following version:

    (7) What's the longest you've ever gone without food?
     

    homotopy07

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    If you really feel the need to pin down what’s notionally being omitted, then – still with the above provisos – I’d go for (3), (6) and (5), in that order.
    Is the following version correct?

    (8) What is the longest time in which you have ever gone without food?

    It does not matter to me whether this sentence is stilted or not.

    I would appreciate it if you would keep it in mind that the Japanese language is in stark contrast to the English one in many ways, and that is why I very often have to analyze English sentences.
     
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