The Difference between “How Far?” & “How Long?” (ESL)

Download: You can download this worksheet here: how-far-how-long-exercises.docx

How to Make Questions with “How Far?” & “How Long?”

We use how far to talk about distance.

·      How far is our classroom from the washroom? It's about 30 metres.

We use how long to talk about the amount of time something takes.

·      How long is the movie? It's 2 hours.

Remember, when you make a question with a verb other than the be verb, you need to use an auxiliary verb (do/did, have/had, will, are/is, etc). For example:

·      How far do you usually walk? I walk 5 kilometres.  (Present Simple)

·      How long did you wait? I waited 30 minutes. (Past Simple)

·      How far will you drive? (Future Simple)

·      How long have you been living in Canada? (Present Perfect Continuous)

Exercise A. Choose the correct question word - how long or how far.

1. is New York from Los Angeles?

New York is about 2,900 miles from Los Angeles.

2. does she usually spend in traffic?

She usually spends 2 hours in traffic.

3. is Melbourne from Paris?

Melbourne is 12,249 miles far from Paris.

4 did he play tennis?

He played tennis for 30 minutes. you usually stretch in the morning?

I usually stretch for 10 minutes. the bus stop?

The bus stop is 200 meters away.

Show Answers

1-How far, 2-How long, 3-How far, 4-How long, 5-How long, 6-How far

Exercise B. Make questions to match the answers.

1.A: ? B: I slept for six hours.


How long did you sleep?

2. A: ? B: I have been working at my company for two years.


How long have you been working at your company?

3. A:? B: I rode my bicycle for 5 miles.


How far did you ride your bicycle?

4. A: ? B: My house is 15 kilometres from my work.


How far is your house from your work?

5. A: ? B: Kate waited an hour for the bus.


How long did Kate wait for the bus?

6. A: ? B: The lessons are 20 minutes.


How long are the lessons?

7. A: ? B: I had to stand for 30 minutes.


How long did you have to stand?

How Long for Physical Length

Of course, we can also use How long to talk about the physical length of something, e.g. your hair or a river. How long is the Nile river? How long was the line? In these questions, we are asking about length. This is the regular meaning of the word long.

Questions? Comments? Find a Mistake?

I hope this has helped you understand the difference between how far and how long. If you have a question, please ask it in the comments section below.

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46 comments on “The Difference between “How Far?” & “How Long?” (ESL)

  1. Lal Bakhsh Elahi (Posted on 8-24-2016 at 11:31) Reply

    are we using how far and how Long for measurement?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 8-24-2016 at 13:43) Reply

      Yes. ‘How far’ measures distance (‘How far is the station from here?’). ‘How long’ measures time (‘How long have you lived there?’) and also length (‘How long is her hair?’). See the ‘Note’ above.

  2. venkatesh (Posted on 10-21-2017 at 02:58) Reply

    Your a brilliant professor , Thank you so much sir,I have one question for you when we use both to talk talk about distance or time one example please

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 10-21-2017 at 21:55) Reply

      How far = distance (How far is London from Paris?)
      How long = time (How long is the class?) and length (How long is your hair?)

  3. Moez (Posted on 12-23-2017 at 23:45) Reply

    How far is the moon from the earth?
    The moon is 240000 miles far from the earth or away from the earth?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 12-27-2017 at 02:29) Reply

      The moon is 240000 miles far from Earth.
      The moon is 240000 miles far away from Earth.

  4. Moez (Posted on 12-23-2017 at 23:47) Reply

    Could you please reply with some references?

  5. Kay (Posted on 3-3-2018 at 01:38) Reply

    It is really good !

  6. Lee Ngo Ka Jasmine (Posted on 3-3-2018 at 08:59) Reply

    Exercise A & B done! 5D (11)

  7. angel (Posted on 5-27-2018 at 13:30) Reply

    Plz we say
    my school is 2 kilometres far or my school is 2 kilometres away

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 5-27-2018 at 14:04) Reply


  8. tommy (Posted on 12-1-2018 at 21:17) Reply

    it is interesting

  9. Anonymous (Posted on 12-19-2018 at 11:40) Reply

    Its really helpful for all and me Thank you so much

  10. Dagninet (Posted on 12-31-2018 at 06:02) Reply

    Thank you so much.

  11. Ngan Pui DICK (Posted on 4-10-2019 at 00:07) Reply

    Easier than piece of cake

  12. chong chang yin (Posted on 4-10-2019 at 07:17) Reply

    easier than killing an ant

  13. ines (Posted on 6-30-2019 at 10:18) Reply

    i like this page because i love english. i have a test on july and i have a grandma she is a teacher english she loves teaching english, she is the best

  14. tu abuela con caca (Posted on 10-11-2019 at 10:17) Reply

    i doesnt like because it is very simple the game and is very faket

  15. kotesh (Posted on 10-20-2019 at 08:07) Reply

    simply superb

  16. XXX (Posted on 2-10-2020 at 22:59) Reply

    Very good! All correct.

  17. Marcus man (Posted on 2-17-2020 at 20:04) Reply


  18. Fei (Posted on 4-14-2020 at 01:34) Reply

    How far is there to The Space Museum?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 4-14-2020 at 02:43) Reply

      “is there” is not needed here. You can write, “How far is the Space Museum?”

    2. Anonymous (Posted on 6-25-2020 at 15:50) Reply

      Can you say “how far the data I requested for “

      1. MB (Posted on 6-25-2020 at 17:05) Reply

        Hello. No, that makes no sense. Do you mean, “How long will it take to receive the data I requested?”

  19. Khushneet Kaur (Posted on 5-12-2020 at 03:59) Reply

    How long refers to time and how far refers to distance.

  20. Rafaella Rangel de oliveira (Posted on 2-20-2021 at 10:44) Reply

    This exicises is good

  21. Hiba Khalid (Posted on 3-18-2021 at 09:08) Reply

    can we say: how far do you watch television?
    when the answer is : I sometimes watch television.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 3-18-2021 at 13:34) Reply

      Hello. No. You should use ‘how often’ in that case.

  22. nobody uses real name here (Posted on 4-18-2021 at 06:30) Reply

    Meanwhile people who checked the answer and the button dodge the curser because of random google ads: -_-
    (not me)

  23. Do not use real name!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Posted on 5-3-2021 at 00:08) Reply

    How far is here to the supermarket?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 5-3-2021 at 23:02) Reply

      How far is the supermarket (from here?)

  24. Elis (Posted on 5-5-2021 at 17:10) Reply

    The supermarket is 7km.

  25. Naltha (Posted on 5-28-2021 at 03:47) Reply

    How far or how long did you go in the car this morning?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 5-28-2021 at 09:11) Reply

      How far. The answer will be “We drove as far as Smith St.”
      If you want to use ‘how long’, there are two options:
      1) The question, “How long were you in the car this morning?” The answer would be “20 minutes.”
      2) The question: “How long did you drive this morning?” The answer would be “5 kilometers.”

  26. Hitesh Gandhi (Posted on 8-30-2021 at 00:51) Reply

    This is fabulous exercise.

  27. Arianna (Posted on 11-24-2022 at 12:34) Reply

    How long is from London to París?

    1. Louis Liu (Posted on 5-11-2023 at 06:51) Reply

      It is six hours and thirty-five minutes

  28. teddybear (Posted on 1-9-2023 at 07:05) Reply

    Guys, need your help, kinda confused. eg
    Q: How far do you live from school?
    A: just 10 minutes away.
    Is that fine to answer like that?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 1-9-2023 at 12:15) Reply

      Yes, but it’s an indirect way of answering the question. The direct answer would be “1 kilometer (away).” but if you say “just 10 minutes away”, the other person can guess the distance based on the time it takes.

  29. Grimilda Ochenswood (Posted on 3-19-2023 at 10:13) Reply

    Hey, what’s up??????
    It’s so funny and beautifull learn with you!
    Thanks, leaters!!!!!

  30. Zhao (Posted on 6-3-2023 at 23:28) Reply

    excuse me, should I say:How long is Center Street?
    the answer is :It’s about 1450 meters.
    my teacher says that I should use How long

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 6-4-2023 at 07:56) Reply

      Your teacher is right.

      1. Zhao (Posted on 6-4-2023 at 23:42) Reply


  31. Samuel. (Posted on 7-6-2023 at 01:19) Reply

    Hi. How do you ask about the remaining distance and answer? . For example when you are on a train . How much is left?or how long is left?

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 7-6-2023 at 15:14) Reply

      How much longer? Ten minutes. How much farther (or ‘further’ is acceptable)? 50 kilometres.

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