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My friend has been frantically looking for his keys for a long time and believes it's been stolen. Just when he's about to give up, I find it lying in his drawer and rush to tell him. What I want to tell him is, "Look, I found your key! It was in your drawer all along (all this while)!"

Question is how do I translate the "all along" / "all this while" portion into Spanish? Is it natural to say la llave estaba en tu cajón todo este tiempo? Somehow, it doesn't sound natural to me...maybe not even correct.

  • I would say that, except for a typo in "todos" (should be singular), it is correct. – Diego Dec 19 '14 at 15:23
  • Thanks for pointing out the typo...have corrected it now. Do you think it's also the most natural way to convey what I'm trying to say? Is this what you would have said in this context? – TheLearner Dec 19 '14 at 15:38
  • Definitely. "Todo este tiempo" or "por todo este tiempo". I started to type an answer but all I could say was "Its OK", and I didn't want to look for further stuff to add just to justify posting an answer. You are really getting proficient in Spanish. – Diego Dec 19 '14 at 15:54
  • Thanks Diego. I think you should still consider posting your comment as an answer since it does answer the question, regardless of how brief it is. That will allow me to accept your answer and close the question as complete. :) – TheLearner Dec 19 '14 at 18:10
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all along and all the while convey the meaning

all the time or over a period of time

You got the translation correct with

estaba en tu cajón todo este tiempo

You could also say

por todo este tiempo/ todo el rato

But the key is that todo este tiempo means "all this time; the whole time".

To expand a little bit further this answer, I'll say that in some occasions it can mean "siempre/desde siempre"." I'm going to do something I have wanted all along (or all along my life)" could be translated as

Voy a hacer algo que que he querido (hacer) toda mi vida I'm going to do something I have wanted all along my life

Voy a hacer algo que siempre he querido hacer I'm going to do something I have wanted all along

Voy a hacer algo que llevo queriendo hacer desde siempre.

Also, you can use

a lo largo de/ todo a lo largo de/ por todo

to convey the more geographical/physical meaning of "all along" (alongside).

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I'd find better to say "la llave HA ESTADO en tu cajón todo el tiempo", or "la llave ESTUVO en tu cajón todo el tiempo". That part ("todo el tiempo") is correct indeed.

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