As long as is used quite commonly in spoken and written cases of English, if we translate each word separately, we can understand As long as as “as long” “because of long” “because of long”… But are these interpretations correct?
Let’s find the answer with English Ms Hoa through this article.
You are watching: What is So long as
➢ The wish structure and the most common uses
➢ Grammar of comparative forms in English
➢ Full grammar about 4 future tenses in English
1. What is As long as?
“As long as” means that as long as, as long as this is the meaning of the phrase, you cannot translate word for word to understand the whole phrase. As long as belongs to a group of words (also known as conjunctions) created by the connection between the two words “as” and “long”.
There are three main types of conjunctions in English: Coordinating Conjunctions, Correlative Conjunctions and Subordinating Conjunctions. As long as is in the group of subordinating conjunctions.
Note: In English, there are quite a few phrases that are translated into phrases, if separated from that phrase, it will be understood in different meanings.
Ex: She may stay here as long as she likes.
> Common English Structures
2. Translate the meaning of each word in the phrase
As long as /adverb/ as long as As /adverb/ Multiply because, like As /conjunction/ because, because, do Long /adjective/ long, long
II. MOST COMMON USE
first. as long as” means comparison
In this case, the phrase as long as is used with a comparative meaning (true in the sense of the phrase as… as).
This ruler is as long as my notebook. The fish was as long as my arm.
2. “as long as” means in this time period or in this period
Phrase used in the sense of time to refer to a period of time or a period in the present
I’ll never forgive you as long as I live. I’ll remember all the good times we had together as long as I live.
3. Similar in meaning to Providing/ provided that with the meaning as long as
The phrase is expressed in the same way as the most commonly used meaning today, meaning as long as
You can use my smartphone as long as you use it carefully. You can stay here as long as you don’t drink. You can stay here so long as you don’t drink.
4. “as long as” describes the duration of an action over a period of time.
The Asian Games can last as long as a month. A cricket game can last as long as five days.
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III. Similar Words and Differences
Meaning: Unless has the same meaning as if notwhich means “unless”,
Unless = if not = excep if
Come next week unless I phone ( = if don’t phone/Excep if I phone)
I’ll take the job unless the pay is too low ( = if the pay isn’t too low/Excep if the pay is low)
When not to use unless: Unless can be used instead of if…not when we are talking about exceptional situations that will change a certain state. But we don’t use unless to talk about the negation of something that is the main cause of the situation we’re talking about.
For example: My mother will be very upset if I don’t get back tomorrow (Not: My mother will be very upset unless I get back tomorrow)
If the speaker does not return, this is the main cause of the mother’s displeasure – if not here does not mean “unless”)
For example: She’d look nicer if she didn’t wear so much make-up (Not: She’d look nicer unless she wore so much make-up)
In a clause with unless, we usually use the present tense to talk about the future
I’ll be in all day unless the office phones (Not: unless the office will phone)
2. So long so/ provided (that)/ providing (that)
Idioms that mean “if” or “in the event that”, “as long as”
You can take my car as long as / so long as you drive carefuly
Providing/provided (that) she studies hard – she’ll pass her Exams
After so long as/ provided that/ providing that We use present tense to express future ideas
For example: I’ll remember that day as long as I live (Not: as long as I will live)
IV. PRACTICE EXERCISES AND ANSWERS
Exercise 1: Choose the correct form of the following sentences
1. You can borrow my car unless/as long as you promise not to drive too fast. (as long as is correst)
2. I’m playing tennis tomorrow unless/providing it rains.
3. I”m playing tennis tomorrow unless/providing it doesn”t rain.
4. I don’t mind if you come home late unless/as long as you come in quietly.
5. I”m going now unless/provied you want me to stay.
6. I don’t watch TV unless/as long as I’ve got nothing else to do.
7. Children are allowed to use the swimming pool unless/provided they are with an adult.
8. Unless/provided they are with an adult, children are not allowed to use the swimming pool.
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9. We can sit here in the corner unless/as long as you”d rather sit over there by the window.