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You hear sentences like "How far gone is she?" Or "When is she due?" Used to talk about pregnancy...

A few days ago one of my collegues used the sentence "How long is she due?" and insisted that it's grammatically correct and means just the same as "How far gone is she?"

But it really doesn't make sense to me. I'd like to know what native speakers of English think about its grammaticality!

And my main question is, what's the difference between "How far gone is she?" And "When is she due?" ?!

Is it that the former asks about the amount of time passed and she's been pregnant and the latter to the remaining amount of time before giving birth to a baby?

Thank you in advance

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  • How long has she been due is correct (for example when over time), but not how long is she due.
    – mplungjan
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 9:22
  • I never heard of how long has she been due. Is that BrE? Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:08
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    I'm a native BrE speaker and I have never heard 'How long has she been due' either. It makes no sense in reference to a pregnancy, though does have coherent meaning if you were asking how long it has been known that someone (or thing) is due to occur at a certain point in the future...
    – Marv Mills
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 13:35

1 Answer 1

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Is it that the former (gone) asks about the amount of time passed and she's been pregnant and the latter (due) to the remaining amount of time before giving birth to a baby?

Yes, that's correct. When a pregnant woman presents to a caregiver, she's given an official due date (EDC or estimated date of confinement), so any question about her due date is usually when or what: when is she due/what's her due date? Sometimes how long until her due date. It addresses when or how much time is left in her pregnancy.

How far along is she addresses the amount of time she's been pregnant. How far is she (into her pregnancy)/how far gone (that sounds like an incurable illness to me) is she/how long has it been are all used.

I've never heard long and due used together except as above. It seems to me (AmE) to be a contradiction, and I wouldn't quite know how to answer that.

"How long is she due?" seems to require the answer, "Nine months" to me.

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