QW 102712 “It’s been a long time”

A week ago on Twitter, I learned how to use “It’s been a long time” and “since” in one sentence. The “since + present perfect” construction was what I was initially unsure of, and thus wanted to know more about. My thoughts, however, were getting more focused on how “It’s been a long time” can be used as my questions were answered by my friends’ feedback. Here’re the things I can share with you.

a) It’s been a long time since we last talked.
b) It’s been a long time since we’ve talked.
Both sentences basically mean “We talked in the past, but haven’t talked for a while.” The difference is a) refers to a specific action, but b) doesn’t.

For instance, when you’d like to refer to the specific occasion on which you and your friend talked last, use since + simple past. In fact, a) might make readers wonder when the last talk really happened.
e.g.) It’s been a long time since we last talked at our annual gyoza party.

*c) It’s been a long time since we met.
【been a long time + since + simple past】It means that we met some time ago, but haven’t met lately. I had thought it could ALSO mean “We met some time ago, and the friendship has lasted for a long time.”, but this is where my confusion started, I suspect. If you want to emphasize the long-lasting friendship, you might want to say “We’ve known each other for a long time.” It’s much clearer, and probably more precise. Again, c) doesn’t clearly state when the last meeting happened. Thus, it could be like;

c) It’s been a long time since we met at the gyoza convention held last year.

d) It’s been a long time since we’ve know each other.
【been a long time + since + present perfect】My confusion mentioned in the c) section might’ve made me interpret the sentence as that “we” got to know each other some time ago, and kept in touch since then. The sentence implies, according to my Canadian friend, that “we” used to know each other but don't any more. I didn’t see that coming, but I remembered that “It’s been a long time” goes hand in hand with absence of the action. “It’s been a long time” and “for a long time” might look similar, but are totally different in usage. Then, how about the following sentence?

e) It’s been a long time since we knew each other.
【been a long time + since + simple past】The fact that we know each other is already in the past and no longer exists, so it means “We used to know each other, but not any more.” Then I wondered. Can we quit knowing someone once you got to know them? My friend told me that we can become uncertain of someone anytime. Yes, point taken. You can even become uncertain of yourself. Then again, if you want to emphasize your long-lasting friendship, you say “We’ve know each other for a long time.”

(50 minutes / 519 words)

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