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Which one is (more) correct? Do they all mean the same?

  1. How long will it take FOR dinner be ready?
  2. How long will it take TO dinner be ready?
  3. When will dinner be ready?
  4. When is dinner going to be ready?

If you have a better sentence that might substitute mine sentences, feel free to write it.

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(1), (3) and (4) all sound good to me, though they have slightly different meanings. (2) is incorrect.

(1) is asking for the amount of time needed to finish making dinner. The answer could be "a half an hour." Another very conversational of asking the same question as (1) is, "How long until dinner is ready?"

edit - your phrasing of (1) is slightly off. (1) should say: How long will it take for dinner TO be ready?

(3) and (4) mean the same thing - what time (on the clock) will dinner be ready? The answer here could be "7 o'clock."

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  • Would it be wrong to say "How long will it take dinner to be ready" instead of "How long will it take FOR dinner to be ready"? I have searched several sites on the internet and none of them explained to me why in some cases "FOR" is necessary and in other it isn't. – Nathan Serrano Jan 17 at 11:50
  • Not really. You could say "How long will it take to cook dinner" and that is good. On second thought, (1) is awkward anyway. Normally "for" would be followed by a more complete description of the process - e.g. "How long will it take for him to cook dinner" or "How long will it take for dinner to be cooked". To "be ready" isn't a process that takes time, so you usually wouldn't use "for", though in quick conversation, nobody would notice anything wrong with "How long will it take for dinner to be ready?" – cruthers Jan 17 at 16:35
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How long will it take FOR dinner be ready?  This is the one to go with.
How long will it take TO dinner be ready?   This is wrong, "to" has no place there.
When will dinner be ready?                  Also perfectly fine to use.
When is dinner going to be ready?           And also just fine to use.

The second may be from:"How long will it take TO make dinner.

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  • Option 1 is okay, but I wouldn't recommend it over 3 and 4 in most circumstances. – nnnnnn Jan 17 at 0:48

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