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What is the difference between these sentences?

You won't have long to wait.

You won't take long to wait.

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Of the two, only the first is natural:

You won't have long to wait

It means that the anticipated event will happen soon. The precise meaning of "long" depends on the context. If you are waiting for a doctor's appointment, it might mean a few minutes. If you are waiting for a package, it might mean a few days.

You won't take long to wait

This is technically meaningless. Events "take" a period of time to begin or occur. The person who is waiting cannot "take" anything (with respect to time). A person must be participating in something for "take" to be meaningful. E.g.:

You will take 50 minutes to complete the task.

But that's a little awkward—I can imagine someone saying it but not writing it. In speech and in writing, it would be more natural to phrase the idea with a dummy subject:

It will take [you] 50 minutes to complete the task.

This would also sound more natural:

The task will take 50 minutes to complete.

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  • I would simply say You won't wait long.
    – apaderno
    Jul 11 at 22:17

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