Indication of how long an event or state lasts (with reference to an amount of time or time period/larger event that it spans).

Note that the presence of a goal #002 or extent of an event (a mile in #003) can affect the choice Duration preposition, blocking for. #004 shows a direct object which can be interpreted either as something against which partial progress is made—licensing for and the inference that some of the lawn was not reached—or as defining the complete scope of progress, licensing in/within and the inference that the lawn was covered in its entirety.

The object of a Duration preposition can also be a reference event or time period used as a yardstick for the extent of the main event:

But over can also mark a time period that contains the main event and is larger than it. While the path preposition over highlights that the object of the preposition extends over a period of time, it does not require that the main event extend over a period of time:

Note that during can be substituted for over in #008 but not #007.

Some for-Durations measure the length of the specified event’s result:

  • John went to the store for an hour. [he spent an hour at the store, not an hour going there]1 009

  • John left the party for an hour. [he spent an hour away from the party before returning] 010

A Duration may be a stretch of time in which a simple event is repeated iteratively or habitually:

  • I lifted weights for an hour. [many individual lifting acts collectively lasting an hour] 011

  • I walked to the store for a year. [over the course of a year, habitually went to the store by walking] 012

See further discussion at Interval.

  1. This stands in contrast with John walked to the store for an hour, where the most natural reading is that it took an hour to get to the store (Chang et al., 1998, p. 230). 

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Supercategory: Temporal