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Also I would like to say that during last 4 or 5 years something has become my main goal (at work). I do not know how which preposition is the correct one, whether to use "the" with "last years" and if "get" can be used for the change or something else describing slow change.

During (in) last (the) 4-5 years, it got (became? grown?) my main goal.

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In the last five years, [it] has become my main goal.


In the last five years, [it] has grown to become my main goal.

You could also use "Over the last five years". I would also consider "primary aim" as an alternative to "main goal".

If you'd like to say 4-5 years, I'd use "In the last four to five years". You can also swap the clauses if you like to:

[It] has grown to become my main goal over the last four to five years.

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Thanks. However, I would like to say it was 4 or 5 years. Also could it be like: In the last 4-5 years..? –  Pietro Jul 22 '12 at 15:35
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Updated. Unless it's very informal, I would spell the numbers out. –  coleopterist Jul 22 '12 at 15:42
    
@Pietro: It can be in the last four or five years which is a usual way of conveying duration in common English as well as the ones that were mentioned. –  Tear--Here Jul 23 '12 at 3:46
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I can't exactly put my finger on why, but "during" doesn't work very well for me in OP's example, and I find "in" even less acceptable. To me, the natural phrasing is

Over the last 4-5 years, it became my main goal. (or perhaps better, has become).

Personally, I'd prefer "objective" over "goal" here. I think that's because I find it slightly awkward to envisage multiple goals as objectives/targets. I know there are two on a football pitch, but each individual player is only interested in putting the ball into one of them.

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To me, "During the last 4-5 years, it has become my main goal" sounds better than the other options. You could also say, "It has become my main goal over the last 4-5 years".

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