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I was at the aisle for the longest time.
I was at the aisle for a long time.

What's the difference? I would like to know what's the meaning of "the longest time" here. Thanks
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Hi,
We most often speak of 'in an aisle'. Are you talking about a place in a store?
I was at the aisle for the longest time.
I was at the aisle for a long time.

What's the difference?

I would like to know what's the meaning of "the longest time" here.
You are comparing times. eg
Fred was at the aisle for 2 minutes.
Tom was at the aisle for 3 minutes.
I was at the aisle for 10 minutes.
Therefore, I was at the aisle for the longest time.

You most likely just mean 'I was there for a long time'.
Clive
There's also the idiomatic use of "for the longest time" meaning "a very long time" or "it just seems like forever."

Clive! Goodness, we haven't seen you here for the longest time! So glad to have you one again attending on of our meetings of Procrasinators Anonyous.
(I meant to come, but I kept putting it off...)
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Thanks, Clive and GG. GG read my mind. That's the meaning I was looking for.

I haven't seen MH and Yoong Liat for the longest time!!!
Hi,

Yes, it can just mean 'for a very long time'.

But I think it's still based on the idea of comparing times. I think that when someone says 'I waited for the bus for the longest time', the underlying idea (not literally, of course) is that this is the longest time that they have ever waited for a bus, or perhaps the longest time that they have ever waited for anything.

Clive
I see. They are related. Thanks, Clive.
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When you say, "I met the nicest man yesterday," I think of it as an intensifier, not as a superlative.

When you say, "I think he's the nicest man in the group," you're using it as a superlative.

I believe longest works the same way.

- A.

Edit. I know that's not right. A word can't intensify itself. I'm trying to say that to me, it means extremely nice / long ,without any intention of comparing it to anything else.
Avangi," I think of it as an intensifier, not as a superlative.
That's interesting!
Hi,
You might like to consider these.
It's the coldest day today.
It's very cold today.
It's too cold today.

Some people seem to use all these three with the same intended meaning. We live in painful times for people who love the subtleties and variety of the English language.

Clive
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