0

My birthday is not even for 3 days.

This sentence is from a movie. How is it interpreted for native speakers?

As I know, the preposition "for" usually if time is related means during. So I thought that the duration of birthday is 3 days. but in reality, it is impossible that a birthday is more than one day.

Others say that the meaning of above sentence is like three days away from the moment speaker is telling.

I want to know a general approach to the interpretation in detail.

Please, help me.

  • It's probably a paraphrase of 'It's not even my birthday for three days.' – Edwin Ashworth Jan 26 '18 at 3:13
  • Is the above sentence often expressed? It's not easy for me to interpret since there is no verb and the subject is not a person. – Woo Choi Jan 26 '18 at 5:56
  • My guess is: X acted as though today was Y's birthday, but Y is telling X that X was three days early. "My birthday is not even for 3 days." – GEdgar Jan 26 '18 at 13:16
  • GEdgar - it seems to me that your guess is the most plausible. Thanks. – Woo Choi Jan 27 '18 at 13:47
1

The use of 'for' seems idiomatic and an abbreviated form of 'for another'. Native speakers would understand it to mean 3 days from now (in the future).

  • No mention of the phrase's ambiguity? Some people (notably D-list celebs) celebrate their landmark birthdays for a week, so the speaker could be saying petulantly that their birthday lasts less than three days. – Mari-Lou A Jan 26 '18 at 8:37
  • @Mari-LouA I don't think anyone would expect that interpretation without something like "being celebrated for". Even if someone does celebrate their birthday over a long period, they wouldn't say "my birthday is for a week". – Barmar Jan 27 '18 at 0:00
  • @Mari-LouA Another example: "Chanukkah lasts 8 nights", but we don't say "Chanukkah is for 8 nights". – Barmar Jan 27 '18 at 0:01
  • @Barmar note, I did use the verb "last" in my comment, I just wanted to nudge Ross into giving a fuller answer, that's all. – Mari-Lou A Jan 27 '18 at 0:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.