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Which of the following is correct?

How much time do we have until class starts?
How long do we have until class starts?

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4 Answers

Both sentences are equally correct in a conversational context. Alternatives that are slightly less colloquial:

How much time remains before class?

or

How soon will class start?

or

How many minutes (or hours) do we have before class starts?

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Neither of OP's exact phrasings occur often enough to graph with NGram, but this similar pair shows that how long is a standard form.

In OP's example, both forms are perfectly valid. The difference is that how long implies the undesirability of having to wait if the delay is in fact "long", whereas how much time implies the desirability of there being sufficient time to do something else before class starts.

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I think they are both correct, but "How long do we have until class starts" sounds slightly more colloquial to me.

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It seems to me that 'long' is in very common usage to mean something like a length, or extension of time.

Examples include "I won't be long", "How long have you been living here?" and the time element is even embedded in words like 'longevity' or hyphenated into, eg, 'long-lived' or 'long-lasting'.

Great question, cheers! Sally

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