A *long-term* friend?

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 16, 2004

In Reply to: A *long-term* friend? posted by Brian from Shawnee on March 16, 2004

: : Hi there
: : It just stuck me to doubt the right usage.
: : If I have friends of a long time.
: : Do I call them 'long-term' friend or 'long-time' friends?

: I'd go with "long-time". "Long-term" sounds finite.

A long-time friend is one who has been, or was, a friend for a long time. Note that either present perfect or past can be appropriate, depending on whether the friendship is over or continues. Note further that the friendship can be over simply because one friend is dead, or has perhaps moved to China, or got Alzheimer's disease. "Long-term friend" is a bit more ambiguous. It could be simply a long-time friend, or could be one who is committed to a lengthy friendship, one who will be around for the long term. SS