What are the grammar rules for using all/the whole in reference to time?

For example in the sentence,

I haven't seen you the whole year
I haven't seen you for the whole year

My question is whether there should be FOR or not.

1 Answer 1


Well I'm afraid neither sentence makes much sense to me. Have you considerred the simpler "I haven't seen you all year".

Saying you haven't seen them for the whole year seems to imply an entire year has passed, and I just think there are too many words.

Here is a definition for the whole of something, as you can see I don't think that will ever apply when referring to the current year. If referring to the whole of the current year it would actually not be the whole of last year, as it would have had to already have transpired.


The same weird dictionary lists


determiner, predeterminer, pronoun

1 the whole of an amount, thing, or type of thing

Have you done all your homework? all your life/all day/all year etc (during the whole of your life, a day, a year etc)

He had worked all his life in the mine.

The boys played video games all day.


Here's an article about removing filler words that might help.


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