"I felt calm and more composed than I had in a long time"

What does this sentence mean, especially in terms of "in a long time"? The meaing of "in a long time" and what does it modify?

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    Surely you can work out what it means., and which word it ties in with. – BillJ Apr 17 at 16:36
  • than I had (felt)? and in a long time looks meaning 'after a long time'. If so, after a lot of time passed I felt calm more than I had felt calm in the past. Is this right? – Brandon Apr 17 at 16:56
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    @BillJ Surely you can, but do keep in mind this site is for English language learners - at all skill levels. This might be a very tricky sentence for some. – TypeIA Apr 17 at 16:59
  • @TypeIA Yes it's not an easy one because I couldn't grab the exact meaning first time I read this one and uncertainty dominated and still under uncertainty. – Brandon Apr 17 at 17:05
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    @Brandon Yes, essentially: "I felt calm and more composed than "I had felt (composed") in a long time". The bit in brackets is understood but not expressed, of course. "In a long time" means "in a considerable length of time". – BillJ Apr 17 at 17:12

"I felt calmer than I had in a long time" means that for a long period of time before that moment, the person had not felt as calm / had felt less calm. Another way to phrase it is "It had been a long time since I felt so calm."

Depending on your native language, this might be easier to understand as "I felt calmer than I had since a long time before" but this is not at all idiomatic (don't say or write this!) and I write it this way only in case it helps (as some languages phrase it this way).

  • Thx. I interprete the phrase means "I haven't been feeling calmer for or a long time but now I feel calmer than before" or "It's been a long time since I felt this kind of wonderful calmness." – Brandon Apr 18 at 2:24

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