I haven't seen you for ages

There are two sentences that I saw in the dictionary.

  1. I haven’t seen you for ages.
  2. It took forever to clean up after the party.

I know “age” and “forever” mean (for) a long time.
Is it okay to interchange them?
I mean if I say “I haven’t seen you forever.” and “It took ages to clean up after the party.”
Do they make sense?

Thank you!!!

Yes, but you would more likely say, “I haven’t seen you in forever.” Your second sentence is good. Both I would consider conversational and informal. The first is more idiomatic. I would not use either in, e.g., a Wikipedia article, but both sound natural for conversation.


‘Forever’ is more of an exaggeration, since it literally means ‘for an infinite amount of time’, and therefore sounds a little weird or over-the-top when referring to the past (and, as khardy says, in the phrase ‘I haven’t seen you’, you need an extra word; ‘in’ would fit, though ‘for’ would also be valid).
‘Ages’ is more common when referring to something that just takes an annoyingly long time, rather than an annoyingly and surprisingly long time.

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In my locality, “ages” doesn’t necessarily have the connotation of ‘annoyance’ , though it can in some circumstances. Mostly it just means it’s been a rather long time

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