1

I wish I had continued to run for longer.

I wish I had continued to run longer.

I wish I had continued to run more.

What is the difference between these, especially semantically?

In my view, the adverb more is cover term, isn't it?

2
  • I don't know what you mean by "cover term". – Martha Jul 19 '14 at 14:43
  • I would leave out the "continued to"; i.e.: I wish I had run longer, I wish I had run more, I wish I had run further, I wish I had pushed myself harder, etc. The "continued to" part is implied and seems redundant. – J.R. Jul 19 '14 at 22:35
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I don't think including for would ever affect the meaning. Since continuing to run is a relatively uncommon activity, let's look at...

slept longer than (46,500 hits in Google Books)
slept for longer than (979 hits)

I can't say I think there's anything wrong with #2 there, but it's worth noting that you can't introduce for with other "comparative adverbs". It's okay with longer, but ...

  • "I ran for faster than you, so I finished first" (not valid English)

So given that for longer isn't particularly common anyway, and it doesn't involve a principle which can be extrapolated to other contexts, I'd say it's not really worth learning (except if you need to satisfy yourself that the usage isn't actually "incorrect").

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