Can "no longer" refer to a finite, forseeable time period, or does it indicate a long-term finality? For example, if someone says, in anticipation of a large meal, "I shall no longer be hungry," does that imply that they will never be hungry again?

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    Erm... It's more the "I shall...be" part that could be taken as implying "now and forever". I imagine most of these several thousand written instances of "I am no longer hungry" will be in contexts where the speaker has either eaten enough already, or just undergone some experience that's put them off their food. But usually they'll be hungry again tomorrow, and be looking forward to their dinner. – FumbleFingers Feb 19 '14 at 21:55
  • @FumbleFingers Good point - I'll edit the question accordingly. – fluffy Feb 20 '14 at 0:56
  • No. I suspect that out of all the people who write I am no longer employed. many of them expect to work again someday. – Peter Shor Feb 20 '14 at 14:00

Examples based around "being hungry" are problematic. In one way of looking at it, we might say a person who never experiences "being hungry" is lucky - if what we mean is he will always have enough to eat.

But there are plenty of people whose very lives are threatened by the fact that they don't experience the natural feeling of "being hungry" and/or lose their sense of taste. Lamisil/Terbafine, for example, can have these effects (sometimes permanently, and it's much worse than most people imagine). It's obviously hard to eat enough if you never feel hungry, and eating itself has become truly revolting. So let's look at OP's construction with something a bit less awkward...

Becks: "If I give away all my money I will no longer be rich"
Posh: "Don't worry pet. With your $50M salary from Paris Saint-Germain we won't be poor for long"

In short, it's not that "no longer" particularly implies anything about the future. All it means is that something that was true will stop being true. Whether it becomes true again in the future depends entirely on what kind of thing it is, and the uncertainties of how the future plays out.

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Actually, I think you're looking at the construct backwards. "No longer" implies that your statement was not true at some point in the past. For example, "I used to be hungry, but I am hungry no longer." It says nothing about the future outside of context.

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  • I'm not sure if you read the same question that I wrote. – fluffy Feb 20 '14 at 0:55
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    I think you have got something "backwards". Surely what you mean is "No longer" implies that your statement was true at some point in the past (but is no longer true). – FumbleFingers Feb 20 '14 at 1:00
  • @FumbleFingers Only if you include the "no longer" as part of the statement; I can see why this answerer would disinclude it. That said, I agree that this answer, while good, would benefit from clarification. – user867 Feb 20 '14 at 1:17
  • @user867: Not sure what you mean there. Emmett's second sentence is unquestionably invalid. His example in the third doesn't correspond to OP's (OP asked about will no longer be, not am no longer). That's 2 out of 4 sentences in the answer that are are worthless or worse. Now you're making me look at it more critically, I feel I have no option but to downvote it. – FumbleFingers Feb 20 '14 at 1:46
  • @FumbleFingers Now that I re-read what I wrote in my comment, I see I was getting confused, myself. I do think there's the foundation of a good answer here, but it definitely needs some expansion. – user867 Feb 20 '14 at 2:40

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