I want to ask somebody how late he was for school. How should I ask him?

  1. How late were you for the school?
  2. How much were you late for the school?
  3. How much time were you late for school?

Are these three expressions natural in conversation? If we can use all these three expression in the situation, what is the difference in meaning between these three expressions?

2 Answers 2


If the person has already mentioned that he was late for school, I would simply ask: "How late ?" Otherwise, "Were you late for school ? How late ?" Your first sentence is correct, but I wouldn't say "for THE school". No definite article here.


Number 1 sounds the most natural. The other two communicate the meaning, but don't sound natural.

Here's a context I think of for this expression:

Bill: Damn it. I was late again today. I have to stop eating breakfast at Burger King. I think I'm falling in love with the drive-thru cashier.

John: How late were you?

Bill: Just 3 minutes, but Mr. Smith gave me a tardy slip anyway.

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