Will last for a very long time


Traditional Chinese - Hong Kong
Just came across a video by the British Council. In the video, the host said : XXX will last for a long time.

Why time is countable in the above sentence even when it means the pasaage of time but not frequency or occasions? I'd probably say : XXX will last for a long period of time


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  • In the clip it says XXX will last for a very long time. I agree, that means the same as "a very long period of time". But the "period of" is optional. "A long time" and a "short time" are standard noun phrases. They aren't exact: we use other expressions for exact time periods.

    I don't know exactly how to relate that to a "countable" grammar rule.
    Last edited:
    You'll find this countable use of "time" in the WR English Dictionary, Raymond:

    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
    time /taɪm/ n., adj., v., timed, tim•ing.
    3. a limited period, as between two events

    a long time [countable; often: a + singular]