In the Moscow aeroexpress train to Domodedovo airport I heard an announcement, "The trip will last for 45 minutes" and I wonder if for is optional in announcements. Is it said the same way in London for instance? Is it a formal way?

I know we can say, "The trip will last 45 minutes". Is it any different from last for?

  • 6
    Not really any difference in meaning or formality. It’s just an optional preposition.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 12:01
  • If there is a slight difference in register, the version without for is the more colloquial/conversational of the two. You'd probably see the prepositional phrase in a text that was aiming for something a tad more polished than impromptu conversation.
    – TimR
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


I tend to favour no "for", since last takes a timespan as a direct object, much like take does:

The trip will last 45 minutes.

A rose lasts only a little while.

A journey to Mars on the new shuttle would still take years.

However, you do hear last for X amount of time now and again, and it shows up in books, sometimes with more frequency and sometimes with less.

This usage with for is probably because last is also an intransitive verb. Any verb can have its duration specified in that way:

He played golf for five days straight.

She will go camping for three months.

Here, the amount of time is not objective, but adverbial.

(This would also explain why you can't say "It takes for an X amount of time": unlike last, take has no intransitive variant.)

  • It all depends on how the question is posed. books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 16:33
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Edited to be wholly more circumspect. Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 21:24

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