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Hi Teachers

Any of you could enlighten me the meaning of "for the longest time" in the two sentences below.

Looking back, I can honestly say I was alcohol poisoned... After that, I swore off alcohol for the longest time.

For the longest time I thought I was unique in my desire to gain weight, until I discovered from reading a men's magazine that caters to a preference for fat women that a number of men are aroused at the thought, let alone the sight, of a woman eating to grow fatter.

Thanks in advance
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In my opinion, "for the longest time" means "for a very long time", but with an attitude of surprise.
It almost means "for a surprisingly long time".

"For the longest time I thought ..." is almost a formula. It is saying something like, "For longer than one would think believable I thought ...". It shows that the person is a little surprised himself at thinking such a thing for such a long time, given that it turned out to be false.

CJ
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CJ, I agree with you about the most common meaning of the phrase 'for the longest time." But for the first sentence above it might take on a slightly different meaning.

Looking back, I can honestly say I was alcohol poisoned... After that, I swore off alcohol for the longest time.

In my opinion it is saying something like "for what seemed like a very long time" And the reason is because of the discomfort he was experiencing, trying to stay off alcohol.

Here again...
For the longest time, I let my roommate take whatever food he liked from my refrigerator. But enough is enought. Last night I gave him an ultimatum. Go buy your own food or I will have to kick you out.