I have to answer a few questions about pandemics like:

List the main known pandemics before the Covid?
What was their time? Their root cause?
How long did they last? How did they stop?

If "How long did they last?" means the duration, what does "What was their time?" mean?

  • Probably "what was their time" means when in history they occurred (i.e. what century, what era) and "how long did they last" means their actual duration from onset to eradication.
    – randomhead
    Apr 17, 2021 at 4:23
  • 1
    Please don't delete your question once you get a satisfactory answer. Questions are for the community at large--other learners and people who come to the site. Also you don't have to post comments to thank other people. If you find an answer helpful, you should upvote it (when you have enough rep) and/or accept it.
    – Eddie Kal
    Apr 22, 2021 at 2:29
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    What was their time? is not idiomatic for your context. When did they occur?
    – Lambie
    Oct 6, 2021 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


"How long did they last?" is a standard way of asking for the duration.

The black death lasted four years in Europe.

"What was their time?" is an odd way of asking When they occurred (was the question written by a non-native speaker of English?). I would have used "When did they start?"

The black death started in 1347.


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