In the Big Bang Theory,

You are early. The movie doesn't start for an hour.

Is he saying the movie doesn't start in an hour? Is the preposition "for" correct?


The movie doesn't start for an hour.

is the same as:

The movie starts in an hour.


The movie doesn't start until an hour from now.

The preposition for is used with a period of time.

ex. for an hour, for 2 days, for 3 months

But what the speaker is implying in this construction is that this is very or too early. It is correct in spoken English.

  • Where is it in the dictionary that has this definition of for? – Ghaith Alrestom Mar 24 '16 at 23:33
  • @GhaithAlrestom Which dictionary are you using? – Cascabel Mar 24 '16 at 23:34
  • most of dictionaries. Longman, oxford, american heritage. I haven't found it. – Ghaith Alrestom Mar 24 '16 at 23:35
  • Of course I know that definition, but the whole of my question is whether this use of definition is really applicable in that sentence. It doesn't sound smooth or natural. In the sentence, if we apply that definition, then you are saying that the movie will not start for a period of an hour?!!! We say he is gone for two days meaning that two days for which he will be gone. An hour for which the movie doesn't start?! – Ghaith Alrestom Mar 24 '16 at 23:44
  • @GhaithAlrestom It would mean exactly that. Of course it is not a usual construction, but to me it seems natural, and I am a native speaker. – Cascabel Mar 24 '16 at 23:49

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