I was reading the lyrics of Harry Chapin's song, 'Cat's in the Cradle' and I encountered a line:

I've long since retired and my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day

What is the meaning of “I've long”? Is it grammatically accurate?

  • Harry Chapin with no 'L' in the surname. – Michael Harvey Sep 11 at 8:39
  • Thanks for the info! – RS2000 Sep 11 at 15:07

The whole phrase is "long since".
Here, it means simply "I retired long ago".

American Heritage Dictionary "since"
adv. 2. Before now; ago: a name long since forgotten.

Merriam-Webster "long since"
"adv. 1 : long ago: promises long since forgotten"

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  • Ohh I see, thanks a lot! – RS2000 Sep 11 at 15:10
  • Just one more question, where can we use long since? Is there any rule or could be used interchangeably? – RS2000 Sep 11 at 15:12
  • If the meaning is "long ago", you can probably substitute "long since". It wouldn't work for just plain "ago" as in "one week ago". If you look at Google books for the phrase with quotes, and limit the search to 21st century, you can see a lot of example uses. – Jack O'Flaherty Sep 11 at 18:01
  • And when searching for the collocation, don't be tricked by examples like this: "It has been too long since I saw you." That is not an example of this use, but of "too long" as an adverb and "since" as a conjunction. – Jack O'Flaherty Sep 11 at 18:02
  • Thanks a lot for your inputs sir, really helpful – RS2000 Sep 13 at 5:02

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