In the third case, I assume tiempo is understood. What I don"t get is the function of the word dura (hard). Looking up the meaning of dura makes me every more confused.

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Those are two equivalent versions. “Cuánto” means literally “how much”, so to ask “how long” we say “cuánto tiempo” (“how much time”), and when the context makes the noun redundant we drop it just like an English speaker would:

¿Cuánto dura?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

¿Cuánto pesa?

¿Cuánt hay de ... a ...? (note the use of the masculine form as neutral)

I often hear “qué” used instead of “cuánto”, but it"s not as literal and it may depend on where you are.


How long in certain contexts can also be translated as desde cuándo, such as How long have you lived in Massachusetts?: ¿Desde cuándo vives en Massachusetts? (in addition to ¿Cuánto tiempo has vivido en Masachusetts?)

(I"m ignoring here the other meaning of how long, as in How long is your flagpole?)


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