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Is there any definite period for the usage of the idiom "long gone" in a sentence: could it be used if the time has only passed a year?

Example: "he relies on a rental agreement which is long gone expired"

Thank you.

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"He relies on a rental agreement which is long gone expired"

This is incorrect because "gone" and "expired" have almost the same meaning.

You could say "He relies on a rental agreement which is long expired"


"long" can be used with many words. "gone" just happens to be one of them.

Examples

She finally received her long-awaited exam results.

John's return from the war was long hoped for by his parents.

The era of the dinosaurs is long gone.

I wish I still had my wife with me but she has long since passed from this Earth.

etc.


Is there any definite period for the usage of the idiom "long gone"?

No. It depends on the duration that the context suggests.

If we say "The dinosaurs are long gone" then we mean millions of years.

If we say "My adventuring days are long gone" we are talking about decades, within the span of someone's lifetime.

If we say "That mouse that we saw is probably long dead" we may mean a year because mice only live for about six months in the wild.

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  • “her long awaited exam results” should be hyphenated — her long-awaited exam results — as ‘long-awaited’ is a compound modifier for ‘exam results’.
    – gidds
    Nov 21, 2020 at 13:15
  • @gidds - Yes, that is a good point. I'll edit. Nov 21, 2020 at 13:26
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First of all "long gone expired" is pretty much never correct. I would say:

  • "is long expired",
  • "expired a long time ago", or
  • "expired long since".

for a legal agreement.

"Long gone" suggests to me either movement or natural change.

He sniffed the air, but the scent was long gone.

Here "long gone" might mere mere hours, or even minutes.

The custom of a young man bringing flowers on a formal date is long gone.

Here "Long gone" suggests suggests years, probably decades.

In general, "Long gone" suggests something far enough in the past that it can't be brought back, but context must indicate how long a time that is. Longer than average for the general topic area, usually.

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This doesn't work. "Long gone" is a rather casual expression and you can't say "long gone expired"

You could say "long expired"

There is no particular time frame of "long" in this context. It should just be much longer than is typical.

In this kind of formal writing I'd prefer a more formal and precise expression, "which expired in October 2019" or similar.

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    You can also say "has long been expired."
    – Barmar
    Nov 21, 2020 at 20:29
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This isn't an idiom. The meaning of the phrase follows from the meaning of the words. "Gone" is the past participle of "go". "Long" is here acting as an adverb modifying "gone". It's not natural to say "long gone expired", because "gone" is not an adverb, and so can't modify "expired". You can instead say "has long since expired".

As for the length of time, it depends on the context, and tends to be longer if the original length was longer. If you lease something for a few days, "long since expired" can be a few days. If you lease something for several decades, "long since expired", would be probably be a least several months.

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Is there any definite period for the usage of the idiom "long gone" in a sentence: could it be used if the time has only passed a year?

Much less than a year :-)

Long Gone Before Daylight - it's clear to any competent English speaker what has happened there.

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I just want to emphasize that there is really no minimum limit. If you were looking forward to eating some strawberries but your roommate threw them away a week ago because they were already moldy, then your roommate might reasonably say, "Oh, those strawberries are long gone." It all depends on the context.

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“Long gone” is often more about the sense that the situation is irretrievable.

As an extreme example one might say “The chance to react to her opening statement was long gone.” as soon as she starts her second sentence, a matter of seconds.

It is a highly inexact idiom. Perhaps somewhat analogous to “the bird has flown” meaning the opportunity has passed. That might be a very short period of time or a very long period.

Usually the usage also includes a meaningful period of time has elapsed since the chance to do something different but it need not.

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