1

This bed has not been slept in for a long time by anybody.

This bed has not been slept in by anybody for a long time.

Which is grammatically correct?

Or, is there a difference between the two sentences?

  • 1
    At times, I don't understand what's so exciting to make a simple thing the most perplexed one! Nobody has slept on this bed since long... what problem you or the author could have with this! Phew! – Maulik V Jun 5 '18 at 10:00
  • The difference is merely in the word order. – Ronald Sole Jun 5 '18 at 10:18
  • @MaulikV Since long isn't Standard English. Maybe it's used in India, but not in AmE or BrE (I checked both COCA and BNC). – userr2684291 Jun 5 '18 at 10:21
  • 3
    @userr2684291 - That may be true, but Maulik's larger point holds: No one has slept in this bed for a long time would be an improvement over either of the two sentences given by the OP. – J.R. Jun 5 '18 at 10:36
  • @J.R. (: I don't disagree. – userr2684291 Jun 5 '18 at 10:43
2

In your example, they are both grammatically correct.

The only difference is stylistic emphasis

for a long time by anybody

emphasizes the amount of time, "by anybody" is repetitive.
Consider

This bed has not been slept in for a long time.
This bed has not been slept in by anybody.

  • Thank you very much for your kind explanation. But how can I adopt your answer? I want to adopt your answer, but honestly, I don't know. – Suwon Kim Jun 6 '18 at 14:34
  • Usually when you Accept and answer, you upvote and then click on the checkmark (next to "Consider") – Peter Jun 6 '18 at 20:00
  • Thank you, but where is the word "Consider"? I just clicked the word "votes? at the end of Answer. Is that correct? – Suwon Kim Jun 7 '18 at 13:23
  • Its to the left of the question. – Peter Jun 7 '18 at 19:34
  • @SuwonKim You can click on the check mark sign just below the down-vote arrow. By doing that, the sign turns into green which shows the question has an accepted answer. – Cardinal Jun 7 '18 at 19:34
0

I can only hear the first sentence as a type of redundancy used for emphasis, and in fact I would be likely to punctuate it as follows:

This bed has not been slept in for a long time—by anybody.

However, in the second sentence, the addition of "for a long time" actually changes the meaning of the sentence. The following sentence means that the bed has never been slept in:

This bed has not been slept in by anybody.

So, the following sentence changes the meaning from never to for a long time:

This bed has not been slept in by anybody for a long time.

Because of this, it sounds much more idiomatic to me to have it in this order (rather than for a long time by anybody), although both constructions are grammatical. You could leave out "by anybody" in this sentence, too, without losing any meaning; however, you may want to emphasize people, for some reason. (Perhaps mice have been sleeping in it.)

As others have pointed out, a better form might be to say the following:

No one has slept in this bed for a long time.

However, the speaker or writer may have legitimate reasons for wanting to use "this bed" as the subject.

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