“Has Long Been” Vs. “Has Been for a Long Time”- Usage Guide

Marcus Froland

Do you ever find yourself unsure whether to use ‘has long been’ or ‘has been for a long time’? If so, you’re not alone.

This article will provide an easy-to-understand guide on how to properly use these two phrases in your writing. You’ll learn the difference between them, as well as examples of their correct usage, common mistakes to avoid, and helpful tips for using them correctly.

Get ready to take your writing skills up a notch!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Has long been’ describes something existing in the past for a considerable amount of time.
  • ‘Has been for a long time’ implies an ongoing state of being over an extended period.
  • ‘Has long been’ is used to emphasize something existing for a significant amount of time.
  • ‘Has been for a long time’ expresses continuous existence or occurrence over an extended period.

The Difference Between ‘Has Long Been’ and ‘Has Been for a Long Time’

The phrase ‘has long been’ and ‘has been for a long time’ may seem similar, but they have slightly different meanings.

‘Has long been’ is used to describe something that has existed for a considerable amount of time in the past.

Meanwhile, ‘has been for a long time’ implies an ongoing state of being; something which continues to exist over an extended period of time.

For example, ‘The belief that technology will solve our problems has long been part of human history.’ This statement references an idea that has existed in the past, but does not necessarily continue into the present.

Usage Examples of ‘Has Long Been’

Using ‘has long been’ can be seen in phrases like ‘This debate has long been settled.’ It is an expression used to emphasize how something has existed for a significant amount of time.

For example, when speaking about the history of a country or region, you may say ‘this land has long been inhabited by indigenous people.’

This phrase is also commonly used with popular expressions such as ‘This topic has long been discussed among scholars.’ Additionally, it can be used to describe topics of current interest such as ‘The importance of renewable energy sources has long been recognized.’

Usage Examples of ‘Has Been for a Long Time’

You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘It’s been like this for a long time’ before. This is an example of using ‘has been for a long time’, which is used to express that something has existed or occurred continuously over an extended period.

For instance, you could say: ‘This tradition of celebrating Christmas has been around for a long time.’ It can also be used to suggest that something has not changed in a while, such as: ‘The way I dress hasn’t changed for a long time.’

Another usage is to indicate that someone has held a position or done something for many years, like saying: ‘He’s been working at the bank since the 1980s.’ In each case, ‘has been for a long time’ communicates that an action or state of being exists and remains unchanged over an extended period.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using These Expressions

Mistakes to avoid when using these expressions include not replacing ‘have been’ with ‘has been’, and omitting the word ‘time’.

It’s important to remember that both of these phrases are verbal tenses that express a period of time, but they have different meanings. Using ‘has long been’ implies something has existed for a longer amount of time than ‘has been for a long time’.

Additionally, if the sentence is in past tense, you should use the appropriate form of the verb (for example, ‘had long been’ instead of ‘has long been’).

Finally, don’t forget to check your grammar; incorrect verb conjugations can change the meaning significantly.

Following these simple rules will help ensure you’re conveying your intended message accurately and effectively.

Tips for Correctly Using ‘Has Long Been’ and ‘Has Been for a Long Time’

When using ‘has long been’ and ‘has been for a long time’, it’s important to remember the difference in meaning. ‘Has long been’ implies that something has existed for a considerable amount of time.

On the other hand, ‘has been for a long time’ suggests an ongoing period of duration.

To ensure accurate usage, consider the context and pick the phrase that best fits the situation.

Additionally, when using either expression, verify that there is factual evidence to support it. Otherwise, readers may find your statement unconvincing or inaccurate.


To conclude, ‘has long been’ and ‘has been for a long time’ have different meanings. They’re both commonly used expressions, but it’s important to understand the difference between them and use them correctly.

If you take the time to familiarize yourself with their meanings and usage examples, you’ll be able to avoid common mistakes and effectively use these expressions in your writing.