Assuming: You and I are friends. Last time we met in 2005. Today I happen to meet you at a local mall. If I want to express that long time has passed since our last meetup, can I say "I haven't seen you for a long time"?
But I find this sentence can have two different meanings.
The first one is just as what I intended to express. But the other seems to mean "I have seen you, not for a long time, but for a shorter time." Can this second meaning be possible in the sentence "I haven't seen you for a long time"?
If I want to avoid the ambiguity and also to express that long time has passed since our last meetup, what can I say?

Thanks a lot!
New Member01
>Can this second meaning be possible in the sentence
No.
Veteran Member11,673
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
ganchiauBut I find this sentence can have two different meanings.
The first one is just as what I intended to express. But the other seems to mean "I have seen you, not for a long time, but for a shorter time." Can this second meaning be possible in the sentence "I haven't seen you for a long time"?
Welcome to English Forums!
No. It has to do with the scope of the negation. The negation carries through the verb see, but not through the adverb of time. Perhaps you could diagram it like this.

[ NOT (have seen you) ] for a long time
CJ
Veteran Member51,862
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Anonymous:
instead of using "for" try using "in"

"haven't see you for a long time" can have

2 different meanings, but when you say

"have'nt seen you in a long time" only one

meaning there.
Anonymous:
ganchiauAssuming: You and I are friends. Last time we met in 2005. Today I happen to meet you at a local mall. If I want to express that long time has passed since our last meetup, can I say "I haven't seen you for a long time"?But I find this sentence can have two different meanings.The first one is just as what I intended to express. But the other seems to mean "I have seen you, not for a long time, but for a shorter time." Can this second meaning be possible in the sentence "I haven't seen you for a long time"?If I want to avoid the ambiguity and also to express that long time has passed since our last meetup, what can I say? Thanks a lot!
you could say "hi whats up".she says hi the you say"i haven't seen you for a long time how are you"
that is all you have to say

please use this idea

thanks alot
Live chat
Registered users can join here