It seems like it's not, because there were no negative statement before "and", after which goes future "will". I could surely write something like "Haven't seen each other for a long time", but that's way too long. In my case I want to preserve the simplicity and shortness of this expression, which I'm not sure if I can use.

The intention is that we haven’t met for a long time and that there would be no opportunity to meet in the future, not that I don’t want to see the other person again.

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 0:32
  • 1
    Putting aside the mock-Chinese expression of missing someone, never will suggests you don't want to meet again. Huh? Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 0:33
  • @YosefBaskin, no, that's just a thing that I need to write. Actual meaning is: "We haven't seen one another in ages, yet never will" Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 0:42
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    One would say long time no see only when face-to-face — seeing after a long time of not seeing. So and never will only makes sense if you mean and never will see again after this. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 3:01

2 Answers 2


"Long time no see" is an idiom that is itself ungrammatical; it is used only as a fixed phrase. As this article from NPR states, it is likely either a calque from Mandarin Chinese or the product of Native American Pidgin English.

Since the phrase already has no sensible internal structure, there is no "correct" way of changing or extending it. You could, of course, try making your own calque from Chinese, but it would cease to be recognized as an idiom.

  • Got you, thanks. I guess I've come up with a solution. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 0:48
  • What @alphabet said is correct here about the origins of this phrase, and I completely agree with the analysis provided. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 1:34
  • You can't say "It's been a long time since I've seen you (long time no see) and never will." and hope to be understood.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 15:31
  • The NPR article that you cite states that the earliest instance of "long time no see" in print is from 1900, but my answer to my own question about the origin of the expression cites newspaper instances of the very similar wording "long time me no see" from 1874 (featuring a Chinese speaker), 1886 (a Native American speaker), and 1890 (another Chinese speaker).
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 21:24
  • @npr doesn’t seem to be a good source (to put it mildly) for language facts or data. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 21:26

"Long time no see" is nearly word-for-word transliterated import from Cantonese, "好耐(very long time) 冇(no) 見(see)".

I saw a sign as I was driving south on Rainier Ave, at the part where one could see the glory of Mount Tahoma aligned with the length of Rainier Ave, just outside of Seattle International District: "No Enter". I think they took it down, perhaps, after people made fun of it.

However, even the new sign "No Entry", like "No fair", is not good English structure. They should be "Not an Entry" and "Not fair".

We should respect these allowed quirks in the English language.

There were a bunch of guys in Maine who just could not accept the term "chicken rice". They said it ought to be "chicken and rice, or rice with chicken". Then I asked them, "What about pepperoni pizza?" Their response was, "Oh that's allowed, because that is traditionally accepted." What a bunch of racists.

"Chicken rice" and "long time no see" are valid colloquial expressions in the English language, as is "pepperoni pizza".

  • +1 for the pepperoni pizza parallel.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 3:11
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    "No Entry" is fine in signage language. In pepperoni pizza, the pepperoni goes to type of pizza, it's adjectival. Like cheese pizza. However, rice does not typically take a noun adjective like that. Adjectives with rice might be: candied rice or coconut rice. Those guys had the right instinct but an inaccurate explanation.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 15:37
  • Exactly the racist answer they gave. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 20:29
  • 1
    Why chicken soup and not soup with chicken? Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 20:30
  • There’s nothing wrong with “No entry”. The word “no” there is a determiner. Best thought of as a shortening of something like “There is to be no entry here”. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 21:11

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