- Were you an admirer of Artemisia Gentileschi before you started the book and did it take a long time to do the research on the art world?
- I love my microwave and cook everything I can in it because I'm always in a hurry and don't want to take time to wait, if I don't have to.
There are some examples from literature with as if intransitive sense of the verb take and adverbial syntactic function of to wait for NP:
- The Marquis had made it clear that it would take too long to wait for them to return from Larissa to England
so they had next suggested that the Larissians might send a diplomat from Paris or Berlin.
- I did hope it might be possible for a message to reach her, but it would take too long to wait for a reply.
- A group of local men decided that it would take too long to wait for justice
from The Dalles and formed a group known as the Committee of Vigilance, or the vigilantes.
Though, such a sense of the verb take is distributed widely, it is vague and informal within grammatical requirements. Due to the prevalence of this construction in speech, it is available in dictionaries in the form of take + adverb, where the verb take has the meaning of need or require a particular amount of time. Thus, an object (noun a time, singular) is only implied in this construction, which allows to assume take + adverb as an idiom.
Frankly speaking, there is nothing complicated with the grammar constuction. The sentence Did it take you a long time to wait for us yesterday? is grammatically right. It consists of such principal syntactic elements as subject + VP + object+ object complement.
As some grammars state An object complement can be a noun or noun phrase; an adjective or adjective phrase; a relative clause (also known as an adjective clause); an infinitive or infinitive phrase; or a gerund or gerund phrase. It is an infinitive phrase to wait for us in the sentence. The phrase is nonfinite.
From the very beginning of this small discussion, I have doubted very much that such grammar construction can be considered as having a small percentage of frequency per million. The reason is very simple: the sentence It took a long time is incomplete semantically obviously. To give this sentence complete semantical meaning, an object complement, marking specific attributes, is required. The object complement to wait for us makes the meaning of the sentence complete, that is necessary.
Some grammars describe such an application of a VP as a verbal. Although derived from verbs, and often looking like verbs, verbals are never used as verbs in a sentence, but as nouns, adjectives or adverbs. VP to wait for us functions as a noun in the sentence. Or, in other words, the VP is an appositive infinitive that describes the noun time. The situation type of the verb wait is a verb of state here.This case generally is desribed in the grammatical theory of the so called extraposition.
Regarding the existing opinion of some commentators here that VP take time and V wait are supposedly synonyms. They are not in such a sentence because VP take time has got the sense of the verb require. And, it is the sense of V expect for V wait.
Adding an adjective long doesn't change anything to what really matters in grammar and semantics of the grammar construction.
There are numerous examples of the grammar construction in the Google books, for example:
- 'And we all are for change in general, and then we're all against it in particular, as soon as it requires any rigor at all or when it takes time to wait for.'
Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton,
- 'Then, it takes time to wait for the elimination light bulb to go off in your puppy's head . Let all expectations go, because housetraining could take days, weeks, ...'
Puppies For Dummies, Sarah Hodgson, 2011.
There are some in other sites on the Internet
- '... These figures, Brad included, wanted to get on with their work, and it took time to wait for the laboratories... '
Atomic heritage foundation, Hugh Bradner page.
- '... functioning of the lifts: it took long to wait for a lift to arrive, which was very irritating... The administration was faced with a problem, whether to install new lifts ...'
TRIZ: THE RIGHT SOLUTION AT THE RIGHT TIME:
A Guide to Innovative Problem Solving. Published by Insytec B.V., 1999, Semanticscholar. org
The word long in the example bears the meaning of a comparatavely long time, noun, singular.
As an additional example, the clause it took some time to relax into his friendship in the following excerpt from modern fiction bears the same grammar as the sentence It took a long time to wait for us of the topic.
- 'These were strange sensations: again, Roisin felt rusty in the face of them. It took some time to relax into his friendship, though she managed it – fitfully – in the end.' The Jewel, Neil Hegarty, 2019.
Here is an excerpt from the Farlex Free dictionary online, containing a useful example,again having almost the same grammar as the sentence, It took a long time to wait for us; in order that the respected author of the novel will not be the only one in the section of additional examples.
However, you can use a with an adjective and time when you are showing how long something takes or lasts. You can say, for example, that something takes a long time or takes a short time.
(Ex.) The proposal would take quite a long time to discuss in detail.
I got acquainted with the original correspondence from the site where the question is originated from. Some interesting things: 1. some people there believe that take long is a synonym for the verb wait 2. In support of own arguments they checked them with the Ngram viewer online, where indeed a number of grammatically correct phrases of the type take time to wait are completely absent, but statistics with high numbers is shown for the conversational idiom why you took so long, which is entirely unacceptable grammatically. According to such comments, you can accurately say in which language environment they usually live. I omit the remaining possible comments, since they are not related to grammar.
For those who are interested with the grammar of the grammar constructions being discussed above, I should explain that paraphrasing take time to wait is take time for being in the state of waiting. This is not the grammar construction of the type take time to get sometning whose paraphrasing gives take time to do something. The so called situation type of the second verb is essential for understanding in the right manner the meaning of the grammar constructions as a whole. It is somewhat very complicated thing for understanding not only for the people whose English is a second tongue, but for those whose English is a native one. The reason of this complex problem is changing standards of the everyday grammar being used on practice for the period of about half a century.
There is actually no cause for anxiety about the complement syntax which has been observed at this page for a long time. The discussion is full of exciting situations because we have been in heated talk about a special pattern of the verb take that is take+somebody+something+(to do something). This pattern is the substance of the case.
The verb take participates in the pattern which uses it as neither monotransitive nor ditransitive, or complex transitive, how the state of affairs stands here really.
A modern syntax theory overview concerning the topic is here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857735/