The phrase “how long does it take” refers to the length of time needed to perform an action.
A: How long does it take to travel from London to Coventry?
B: It takes an hour by train.
A: How long does it take you to build the garage?
B: I guess it’ll take me about a week.
A: How long did it take to build the Great Wall of China?’
B: It is believed that it has` been built over a period of about 20 years.
A: How long will it take you to lose 20 pounds?
B: I’m not quiet sure, but I suppose about six months.
A: How long does it take for hair to grow?
B: About 1/2 inches a month.
The phrase can be asked in the present, future and past tenses:
A: How long does it take them to prepare dinner?
B: It takes them an hour.
A: How long did it take them to get to Oxford?
B: It took them 2 hours.
A: How long will it take them to pack their bags?
B: It will take them half an hour.
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