What are the cases in which each of those is used? Can you give more detailed examples and differences in meaning and usage than the ones I found below if there are any?

Here's what Google says:

  • over the yearsduring several/some/many years (Merriam-Webster)

  • for years: for a long time (Cambridge)

  • throughout the years: during the whole of [a certain] period (Collins)

For example, I have a sentence:

"... after all the [lies] he's fed himself over the years."

Is that the appropriate usage?

  • You'll probably get responses if you first provided examples using these different time expressions and ask if they are appropriate. In other words, tell the community why these expressions seem to be a problem for you, provide your own examples. – Mari-Lou A Jan 29 at 7:58
  • You could google these expressions by using quotes, e.g. "over the years" – Mari-Lou A Jan 29 at 8:00
  • @Mari-LouA google gives really similar definitions, that's why I'm asking. – dee Jan 29 at 8:04
  • Well, supply us with those definitions! It's +1 from me if you do. And you're forgetting the other two expressions, put in a little effort and you will reap the benefits. – Mari-Lou A Jan 29 at 8:05
  • 1
    'Over the years' = on many occasions over a long period. 'For years' = continuously over a long period. 'Throughout the years', as Collins implies, needs the time period to be identified - '...that we lived in Anytown...' – Kate Bunting Jan 29 at 9:21

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