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I want to know how to form the sentence "I looked at the water for so long that people thought I was crazy" but I'm not sure of how I can express "for so long" in Japanese I thought of 私はおかしかったと思われたほど水を見た, and it looks like it means "I looked at the water to the extent that people thought I was crazy" but I want the time part to appear in the sentence. How to say "...for so much time/for so long that..."?

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Generally speaking, English "as much A as B" and "so A that B" can be translated as B ほど A.

Thus,

I looked at the water for so long that people thought I was crazy.
私は人からおかしいと思われるほど長く水面を見つめていた。 (Note: Japanese has relative tense)

Similar expressions:

  • ~ほどの時間
  • ~ほどの間
  • ~ほど長い時間 (means really "long")
  • ~ほど長い間
  • and all ほど above can be replaced by くらい(ぐらい)

However when English writers write such a sentence, they often want to tell "people thought I was crazy" part. So practically this kind of sentence is likely to be given with a translation like:

私は長く水面を見つめすぎて、人からおかしいと思われた。

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The phrase "for so long" is translated as 長い間. And if you want to add the sentence, you can use ほど, which means an extent. so I translated your sentence as '人がおかしいと思うほど長い間.

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My shot at a translation:

頭がおかしいんじゃないかなと周りの人から疑われたくらいずっと水面を見つめていた。

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    「頭がおかしいんじゃないかと周りの人から疑われるくらいずっと水面を見つめていた。」とすれば自然な文になると思います。(「な」を取って、「疑われた」を「疑われる」にしました) – Chocolate Jun 11 '16 at 10:17
  • 訂正どうもありがとうございます。 – Locksleyu Jun 11 '16 at 14:43

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