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I wonder what the correct question form of the following sentence is:

Diet Coke has been made since 1982.

Is it correct to say "How long has Diet Coke been made for?"
And should we use the preposition "for" or not?
Or is there a better way to form a question?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, tchrist May 23 '18 at 2:44

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  • A whole generation decided that prepositions should not end sentences. They also decided that English should be spoken in an accent the sounds like one's nose has been removed. It is noticeable that, nowadays, even the Queen no longer speaks like the Queen. I think the battle is well and truly won and we can forget all about it. – Nigel J May 22 '18 at 15:03
  • I don't think "for" is needed at the end of the sentence--not because it's not allowed, but because it's not necessary. A better way of phrasing the question is "How long since Diet Coke was introduced?" – tautophile May 22 '18 at 16:35
  • @tautophile It does sound good, thank you for the answer! And can the above-mentioned phrase be used as well? Or does it sound unnatural? – Sufjan May 23 '18 at 10:32
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I am sorry to state the simplest answer, but here goes.

Since when has Diet Coke been made?

Your version would be the question form for

Diet Coke has been made for 36 years.

  • @KamilDrakari No indeed. Sufjan thinks that “How long has Diet Coke been made for?” is the question form that corresponds to the answer “Diet Coke has been made since 1982”. But the question is asking for the LENGTH OF TIME, which requires the NUMBER OF YEARS. So I have calculated that number. – Tuffy May 22 '18 at 19:50
  • The difference between phrases "since when" and "how long" is clear. But as far as I know, "since when" is more often used to express disbelief and objection. For example: "Since when do you have the right to tell me what to do?" Therefore it may be better not to use it. But maybe it sounds okay in this very context? So, can "since when" be used so that you don't seem rude? – Sufjan May 23 '18 at 10:17
  • @Sufjan You are right about the sarcastic use of since when. When spoken, the difference will be obvious from the tone of voice. In writing, the use would have to be part of a second person communication to be a serious candidate for sarcasm. In any case, the wider context would make it clear, I think. – Tuffy May 23 '18 at 10:34
  • Now everything makes sense to me. Thank you for the explanation! – Sufjan May 23 '18 at 11:22

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