In this lesson, we will focus on duration questions in the English language.
A question is an interrogative expression often used to find out or confirmation information. There are a lot of different types of questions in English such as object, subject, time, duration, get, modality, indirect, open, closed, etc…
Duration is the length of time that something exists or lasts. The following verbs are generally used to express duration of activities in English: take, spend, put into, and last.
The verb “take” is generally used to express duration when you want to focus on the completion of a task-oriented action. The pronouns (you) and (me) can be included in or omitted from the question and statement.
|take + to do
|How long does it take (you) to write an email?
|It takes (me) 30 minutes to write an email.
The verb “spend” is used to express the length of time that someone allows to pass in a particular place or while doing a particular activity. It is also a general way of asking about duration of time.
|spend + doing
|How much time did you spend writing the email?
|I spent 30 minutes writing the email.
The phrasal verb “put into” is used to express the length of time that someone uses their resources, energy, or effort to do something. It is mainly used to talk about work-related activities and tasks, which requires resources, energy, and effort. It is not used to talk about non work-related activities or tasks. e.g. How much time do you put into shopping at mall on the weekend?
|put into + doing
|How much money did they put into renovating the office area?
| They put $50,000 into renovating the office
The verb “last” is used to express the amount of time an activity, event, or task continues in time from the start until the finish. It is also a general way of asking about duration of time.
|How long did the production meeting last this morning?
|The production meeting lasted one hour this morning.