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a. How long does the average dating period last in your country?

b. What is the average length of time for dating in your country?

Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Are they natural?

2 Answers 2

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Both of your options are grammatically correct, and mean pretty much the same thing, but the first one sounds a bit better to my ear and is how I would expect to see it phrased most of the time:

How long does the average dating period last in your country?

This seems perfectly natural to me.

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Both are grammatically correct, but I wouldn't say either are the most natural way to ask that question. You don't often hear someone refer to "the dating period". Likewise, the word "dating" alone isn't specific enough - it could refer to a single date, or a prolonged period of dating.

I would prefer:

What is the average length of time that couples date (for) in your country?

Even that is a little ambiguous - are you referring to the length of times couples date until they break up, or until they get engaged / married? It might pay to be specific.

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  • I disagree that "dating" could refer to a single date in this case. The use of "period" implies an extended duration, so "dating period" already implies a "prolonged period of dating". As to naturalness, I think it depends a lot on context. Yours might be more natural in casual speech, but "average dating period" I think would be quite natural in more formal or academic settings (and I don't really find it unnatural even in casual speech, personally). Also including the "for" in your example is not only un-idiomatic (to my ear), but actually ungrammatical. That form should not be used.
    – Foogod
    Feb 26, 2020 at 15:56

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