mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest
longer ago than Options
navi
Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2020 9:39:44 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 511
Neurons: 4,890
1) It happened too long ago for me to remember.
2) It happened so long ago that I don't remember.
3) It happened longer ago than I remember.


What is the meaning of the sentences?

I see two possibilities:

a) I don't remember how long ago it happened.
or:
b) I don't remember the event itself because it happened so long ago.


Gratefully,
Navi
georgew
Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2020 11:40:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/13/2016
Posts: 299
Neurons: 1,924
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
navi wrote:
1) It happened too long ago for me to remember.
2) It happened so long ago that I don't remember.
3) It happened longer ago than I remember.


What is the meaning of the sentences?

I see two possibilities:

a) I don't remember how long ago it happened.
or:
b) I don't remember the event itself because it happened so long ago.


Gratefully,
Navi


Your two interpretations are correct. However, #3 is grammatically awkward and should not be used IMHO.

sureshot
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 3:32:39 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,749
Neurons: 452,814
navi wrote:
1) It happened too long ago for me to remember.
2) It happened so long ago that I don't remember.
3) It happened longer ago than I remember.


What is the meaning of the sentences?

I see two possibilities:

a) I don't remember how long ago it happened.
or:
b) I don't remember the event itself because it happened so long ago.


Gratefully,
Navi

___________________


The use of "too" in sentence 1 is defective. "Too" indicates a higher degree than is desirable, permissible or acceptable. This sense does not fit in the given sentence. Sentence 2 uses the pairing "so ... that ...". This sentence is understandable. Sentence 3 is quite awkward. The adverb "ago" signifies "before the present". This sense does not merit the use of "longer" before it.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 6:24:02 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,740
Neurons: 57,489
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

I agree 100% that the third sentence is not very elegant and we wouldn't write it like that.

However, in spoken English it would be perfectly acceptable...because, well, not everyone who speaks English has learnt it formally in respect to grammar. Their main concern is - as in any language - to be clearly understood.

Sentence 3) therefore, despite being clumsy, is perfectly clear and understandable and wouldn't raise an eyebrow if spoken.


(I stress this because so many Learners are afraid/nervous/lack confidence in their ability to converse with English speakers for fear of making "mistakes"!)
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 9:31:43 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 5,314
Neurons: 1,232,862
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
One and two are just fine. Three is very awkward.
Hope123
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 9:43:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 9,577
Neurons: 54,734
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
As for the use of ’too’ in sentence one, this is what TFD has to say:

Usage Note: Some people object to the use of not too as an equivalent of not very, as in She was not too pleased with the results. In many contexts this construction is entirely idiomatic and should pass without notice: It wasn't too long ago that deregulation was being hailed as the savior of the savings and loan industry. It was not too bright of them to build in an area where rock slides occur. In these cases not too adds a note of ironic understatement. · Negation of too by can't may sometimes lead to ambiguities, as in You can't check your child's temperature too often, which may mean either that the temperature should be checked only occasionally or that it should be checked as frequently as possible.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.