Meaning of TIME in English


what time is it?

1. when you ask what time it is

2. ways of saying what time it is

time when something happens

3. a time when something happens

4. what hour, day etc something happens

5. a list of times of trains, classes, or activities

6. to arrange a time for something to happen

how long

7. how long something continues

8. the period of time that something lasts or takes

short time/long time

9. a short time

10. a long time

11. a fairly long time

period of time

12. a period of time

13. a period of time in history

right time/wrong time

14. the right time or a good time to do something

15. the wrong time or a bad time for something

same time

16. at the same time

17. while something else is happening

18. to happen or do things at the same time

to have enough time

19. to have enough time to do something

20. to have very little time to do something

21. to not have enough time to do something

time passes

22. when a period of time passes

23. time passes quickly

24. time passes slowly


to continue for a period of time : ↑ LAST

to spend time doing something : ↑ SPEND MONEY OR TIME

free time : ↑ TIME

to happen or arrive on time : ↑ ON TIME

see also







1. when you ask what time it is

▷ ask (somebody) the time/ask (somebody) what time it is /ˌɑːsk somebody ðə ˈtaɪm, ˌɑːsk somebody wɒt ˈtaɪm ɪt ɪzǁˌæsk-/ [verb phrase]

to ask someone to tell you the time :

▪ She was walking home near Colbayns School when a man approached her and asked her the time.

▪ She was distracted for a moment by someone asking the time.

▪ Go and ask Dad what time it is.

▪ If you’ve got a watch, why are you asking what time it is?

▷ what time is it? also what’s the time? British /wɒt ˈtaɪm ɪz ɪt, ˌwɒts ðə ˈtaɪm/ spoken

say this to ask someone you are with to tell you the time :

▪ ‘What time is it?’ ‘Just after four o'clock.’

▪ What’s the time? Is it after 10?

▷ have you got the time? British /do you have the time? American /ˌhæv juː gɒt ðə ˈtaɪmǁ-gɑːt-, duː juː ˌhæv ðə ˈtaɪm/ spoken

say this to ask someone the time, when you do not know whether they have a watch :

▪ Sorry to trouble you, but do you have the time?

have the right time

▪ Does anyone have the right time here?

have the time on you


▪ Excuse me! Have you got the time on you please?

▷ what time do you make it? British /what time do you have? American /wɒt ˈtaɪm duː juː ˌmeɪk ɪt, wɒt ˈtaɪm duː juː ˌhæv/ spoken

say this when you are asking someone who has a watch, especially because you think your own watch may be wrong :

▪ What time do you make it, Emma? My watch has stopped.

▪ What time do you have, Dave? I don’t want to miss my plane.

2. ways of saying what time it is

▷ o'clock /əˈklɒkǁəˈklɑːk/ [adverb]

use this when the time is exactly a particular hour :

▪ It’s 5 o'clock.

▪ It’s exactly 10 o'clock.

▷ just before/after also just gone British /ˈdʒʌst bɪfɔːʳ, ɑːftəʳǁ-æf-, ˈdʒʌst gɒnǁ-gɔːn/ [preposition]

use this when the time is a little before or after a particular hour :

▪ It’s just before 6.

▪ It’s just after 10 o'clock.

▪ It’s just gone midnight. just after

▷ to also of American /tuː, ɒv/ [preposition]

use this to say that the time is a particular number of minutes before a particular hour :

▪ It’s ten to six.

▪ It doesn’t get dark until about twenty to ten.

▪ It’s a quarter of eleven.

▪ Joe, by the ten of eight you’re going upstairs and that’s only about a half hour from now.

▷ past also after American /pɑːstǁpæst, ˈɑːftəʳǁˈæf-/

use this to say that the time is a particular number of minutes after a particular hour :

▪ It’s quarter past four.

▪ It’s ten after five.

▪ It’s quarter after eight, and Laurie’s showing up at nine.

▪ It’s half past two.

▷ it’s getting on for /ɪts ˌgetɪŋ ˈɒn fɔːʳ/ British

use this to say that it is almost a particular time, especially when you are guessing what time it might be :

▪ It’s getting on for five o'clock.

▪ I should think it’s getting on for ten by now.

▷ bang/dead on /ˈbæŋ, ˈded ɒn/ [adverb] British informal

use this to say that it is exactly a particular time :

▪ ‘What time is it?’ ‘Bang on midnight.’

▪ I make it dead on half past by my watch.

▪ We finished bang on eight, and we were back home by nine.

3. a time when something happens

▷ time /taɪm/ [countable noun]

a time when someone does something or something happens -- use this especially to talk about something that happens more than once :

▪ Do you remember that time Tim got really drunk at Sarah’s party?

▪ Play it really loud this time.

the only/same/last etc time

▪ The last time we ate meat was at Thanksgiving.

▪ The only time I’ve seen him with a girl was that party at Mike’s place.

▪ Give us a call next time you’re in town.

▪ That was around the same time that I met Linda.

the first/second/third etc time

▪ Is this the first time you’ve played pool?

▪ Sandra, that’s the third time I’ve asked you to keep quiet.

▪ Alex won the 100 metres for the fifth time in a row he won five times, and no one else won the race in between .

four/six/several etc times

▪ This is my favourite film - I’ve seen it five times.

▪ It’s silly -- I’ve met him several times, but I can never remember his name.

a number of times

formal use this to say something happened several times

▪ She’s been to Greece a number of times.

▪ I’ve heard Jessie play a number of times, and I think he’s great.

every/each time

▪ Every time I met her, she asked me about the children.

time when

▪ Do you remember the time when Dad lost the car keys?

▷ occasion /əˈkeɪʒ ə n/ [countable noun] formal

a time when something happens :

on one/that etc occasion

▪ The witness said that on both occasions he noticed Davis because of his heavily tattooed arms.

▪ On one occasion, Anna fainted while out shopping with friends.

▪ She had met Zahid on a previous occasion.

on numerous/several occasions

use this to emphasize that something happened many times

▪ I’ve suggested that she should move on numerous occasions, but she never takes any notice.

▪ I remember Michael sleeping in your room on several occasions and mom not knowing about it.

▷ moment/point /ˈməʊmənt, pɔɪnt/ [countable noun]

an exact time when something happens, during a longer process or series of events :

▪ The play went well, apart from one embarrassing moment when I dropped a cup.

▪ At several points during the meeting, Adler threatened to walk out.

▪ My most special moment with dad was when I was announced as the winner of Junior Beauty Contest.

moment/point in time

▪ At that precise moment in time, Binh walked in.

4. what hour, day etc something happens

▷ time /taɪm/ [countable noun]

the particular minute or hour of the day when something is planned to happen, or the particular minute or hour that it happened in the past :

the time of something

▪ Could I have the times of the trains to Birmingham please?

▪ This leaflet lists the dates and times of all the concerts.

▪ The police are still trying to establish the exact time of her death.

what time?

▪ What time did you see the man leave the bus station?

▪ What time do you usually start in the mornings?

▪ What time is the news on?

departure/arrival time

the time when a train, plane, etc leaves or arrives

▪ The departure times are posted on our website.

▪ The plane’s estimated arrival time is 19:45.

opening/closing time

the time when a shop, office etc opens or closes

▪ We went into a cafe and sat there until closing time.

▪ I’ve got to get this to the video store by closing time.

opening times

the normal times when a shop is open

▪ Check with the museum for opening times at www.musart.co.

lunchtime/dinnertime etc

the time when you have a meal

▪ Robbie! It’s suppertime!

time of year/day etc

▪ The winds are pretty strong at this time of year.

▪ There won’t be much traffic on the roads at this time of night.

by that time

after a particular hour of the day or night has passed

▪ Well, most people had gone to bed by that time of night.

▪ She apologized for being late, but by that time I was really annoyed with her.

▷ date /deɪt/ [countable noun]

the day, month, or year when something is planned to happen, or happened :

▪ Do you know the date when the house was built?

▪ We still haven’t received notification of the exam date.

the date(s) of something

▪ Give me the dates of the American War of Independence.

▪ June 9th is the date of the European elections.

date for

▪ We need to arrange a date for the next meeting.

▪ A date for his release has not yet been agreed.

set a date (for something)

choose a particular date

▪ Have they set a date for the wedding yet?

birth date/date of birth

the date on which someone was born

▪ It helps if you provide your birth date and Social Security number.

▪ Could I have your name and your date of birth please?

start date

the date when something begins, especially a job

▪ I later received confirmation of my new job in a letter indicating the start date.

closing date

the date when a competition, offer etc ends

▪ The closing date for entries is 3 March 2001.

expiry date British /expiration date American

the date on which something can no longer be used

▪ Key in your credit card details, including the expiration date of the card.

▪ Are you sure these yoghurts are ok? Have you checked the expiry date?

launch/release date

the date when a new product, film, etc is shown to people

▪ ‘Snow White’ had a December release date to capture the Christmas market.

▷ hours /aʊəʳz/ [plural noun]

a fixed period of time in the day when a particular activity, business etc happens :

▪ I’d like to return something to your store - what are your hours?

office/opening/business hours

when an office, shop etc is open

▪ Our telephone hotline is open during regular business hours.

visiting hours

when you can visit someone in the hospital

▪ Visiting hours are from 2 to 5 every day.

after hours

after an office, shop etc is closed

▪ After hours callers can leave a voicemail message.

out of hours

British before or after the usual business hours

▪ What was Tom doing in the office out of hours?

▷ hour /aʊəʳ/ [countable noun]

a particular period or point of time during the day or night :

at this hour

very late at night or early in the morning

▪ Sir, I’m sorry to bother you at this hour.

at some ungodly hour

informal very late or very early

▪ We had to get up at some ungodly hour to catch our train.

at all hours

▪ There’s something happening on our street at all hours of the day and night.

lunch/dinner hour

▪ I hate telemarketers who call during the dinner hour.

▷ timing /ˈtaɪmɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

a word meaning the time, day, or date that something is planned to happen, used especially when you are considering how suitable this is :

timing of

▪ The voter survey is crucial to the timing of the election.

▷ at /ət, strong æt/ [preposition]

use this with hours and minutes of the day, special holidays, or the beginning or end of a period of time :

at six o'clock/half-past four/midnight/lunchtime etc

▪ He starts work at 10, and finishes at 6:30.

▪ Would you like to go to the sandwich bar at lunchtime?

▪ I have a hospital appointment at 9.00 am.

at Christmas/Easter/New Year

▪ We get a week’s holiday at Easter.

▪ What are you doing at Christmas?

at the end/beginning/start (of something)

▪ Frank joined the navy at the beginning of the war.

▪ We get paid at the end of the week.

▪ The students all do a short test at the start of term.

▷ on /ɒnǁɑːn, ɔːn/ [preposition]

use this with particular days :

▪ The team holds a meeting on the first Monday of every month.

▪ I tried to catch him on the last day of term, but he’d already left.

on Monday/Tuesday night/Friday evening etc

▪ We’re going out for dinner on Friday.

▪ Are you doing anything special on Saturday night?

on August 12th/March 2nd etc

▪ She was born on May 12, 1913.

▪ The course starts on 14 October.

on my birthday/their wedding day/Valentine’s day etc

▪ Did you call dad on Father’s Day?

▪ Aren’t you coming here on Christmas Day?

on Thursdays/Fridays etc also on a Thursday/Friday etc

British every Thursday, Friday etc

▪ Her husband takes her shopping on a Saturday to Asda.

▪ We always go to the pub on Fridays.

▷ in /ɪn/ [preposition]

use this with parts of the day, particular years, or particular months, and seasons of the year :

in the morning/afternoon/evening

▪ I’m usually too tired to cook a meal in the evening.

▪ We didn’t get to bed until 3 o'clock in the morning.

first thing in the morning

very early in the morning

▪ I want to be ready to leave first thing in the morning.

in 1892/2001 etc

▪ In 2004, the Olympic Games will be held in Athens.

in the fifties/sixties/1990s etc

from 1950 to 1959, 1960 to 1969 etc

▪ He did a lot of abstract art in the sixties, but he’s moved on since then.

in January/February/the autumn etc

▪ I came to England in the summer of 1995.

▪ The series returns in the autumn.

▪ ‘How old is Philip now?’ ‘He’s four in December’.

▷ ago /əˈgəʊ/ [adverb]

use this to say how far back in the past something happened :

5 minutes/an hour/100 years etc ago

▪ Michael left the office 20 minutes ago.

▪ ‘When did you hurt your back?’ ‘About a fortnight ago.’

▪ My daughter was married just over a year ago.

a long time ago

▪ I met your father once, a long time ago.

a short time ago/a little while ago

▪ Did you see that program about genetics that was on a little while ago?

a minute/moment ago

▪ I had my keys a minute ago, and now I can’t find them.

not so long ago

used to say that something was quite a short time ago

▪ We went down to see a show in London not so long ago.

how long ago?

used to ask how far back in the past something happened

▪ How long ago was that, Dad?

▪ How long ago did you buy the computer?

▷ on/at the stroke of /ɒn, ət ðə ˈstrəʊk ɒv/ [preposition]

at exactly a particular time and not any earlier or later :

▪ On the stroke of midnight, the British flag was lowered for the last time over Delhi.

▪ The judge entered the courtroom at the stroke of nine.

5. a list of times of trains, classes, or activities

▷ timetable British /schedule American /ˈtaɪmˌteɪb ə l, ˈʃedjuːlǁˈskedʒʊl, -dʒ ə l/ [countable noun]

a list that shows the times when something will happen, for example when planes or buses leave, or when classes at school take place :

▪ Teachers will be giving out copies of the new timetable in the first class today.

▪ Train services shown in this timetable are subject to alteration or cancellation at short notice.

▪ After I’d found my room, I sat down to look carefully at my schedule.

bus/train etc timetable

▪ The train schedules are all on the website now.

TV/radio schedule

▪ The events have been arranged to match TV schedules.

timetable of

▪ I’d like a schedule of flights from Boston to New York.

▷ schedule /ˈʃedjuːlǁˈskedʒʊl, -dʒ ə l/ [countable noun]

a detailed plan of activities that have been organized, showing for example the times when someone will do something, or the times when activities will start and finish :

▪ The President’s schedule includes a two-day visit to St Petersburg.

▪ The flight was cancelled, and that really messed our schedule up.

schedule for

▪ Do you have a schedule for the tour?

▪ What’s the schedule for today’s meeting?

according to schedule

▪ The director was given a budget of $10 million and so far the film seems to be going according to schedule.

ahead of/behind schedule

earlier/later than the time that was planned

▪ I know, we’re a week behind schedule already.

on schedule

at the time that was planned

▪ The building should be completed on schedule.

stick/keep to a schedule

▪ It’s important that everyone on the project keeps to the schedule.

work/training etc schedule

▪ Do you have a work schedule for this week, Doreen?

▪ Various minor ailments can interfere with your training schedule.

busy schedule

when there is a lot to do

▪ She took time out of a busy schedule to talk to us.

tight schedule

when there is not very much time to do things

▪ With this new project in the offing, I’m going to be working to a very tight schedule.

▷ timetable /ˈtaɪmˌteɪb ə l/ [countable noun usually singular]

a plan that shows when parts of an important and long process, especially a political one, will happen :

▪ Party leaders met to discuss a new constitution and an electoral timetable.

timetable for

▪ Their purpose would be to set a timetable for the conversion of British cars to low-octane fuel.

▪ He gave no indication of a timetable for the approval of the changes.

6. to arrange a time for something to happen

▷ schedule /ˈʃedjuːlǁˈskedʒʊl, -dʒ ə l/ [transitive verb]

to arrange for an activity or event to happen at a particular time :

▪ Monday’s performance of St Matthew’s Passion is scheduled to start at 7.30 pm.

▪ If you schedule your practice routine to include one exercise a week, you should learn the musical scale pretty quickly.

schedule something for tomorrow/next week/Dec 4 etc

▪ I’ve scheduled a meeting for tomorrow. I hope everyone can attend.

▪ The first game is provisionally scheduled for January 26.

▷ time /taɪm/ [transitive verb]

to arrange for an activity or event to happen at a particular time, especially because this is the most suitable or convenient time :

▪ The meditation class will be timed so that it does not coincide with the noisier exercise classes.

▪ The release of the document was shrewdly timed.

time something for 12 noon/12.45 etc

▪ Stephen timed his arrival for exactly six o'clock.

▪ The first track race is timed for 11.15.

▷ pencil in /ˌpens ə l ˈɪn/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to arrange a time for something to happen, especially when you may want to change this later :

pencil in something

▪ Political commentators are pencilling in July 30th, August 6th or August 13th as possible election dates.

pencil something in

▪ we’ll pencil May 15 in as a reserve date.

pencil something in for Dec 4/next week etc

▪ Greg’s pencilled the sale in for December 15 .

▪ The band are pencilled in for a show in the King’s Hall on January 18.

7. how long something continues

▷ how long /haʊ ˈlɒŋǁ-ˈlɔːŋ/

use this to ask about or talk about how many minutes, hours, days, or years something continues for :

▪ How long have you been waiting?

▪ I don’t know how long the repair will last, but it should get you home.

▪ How long are you going to be in the bathroom?

▪ How long have you two known each other?

▪ So how long did you live on Long Island?

▷ for /fəʳ, strong fɔːʳ/ [preposition]

use this to say how long something continues :

for an hour/two days/a long time etc

▪ ‘How long did you live in Spain?’ ‘Oh, for about three years.’

▪ We seem to have been waiting for ages.

▪ We talked for a while.

▪ Omar’s been learning English for two years now.

▪ I only worked there for three months.

▷ since /sɪns/ []

all the time from a time or event in the past until now :

▪ I’ve had this car since 1992.

▪ I’ve been smoking since I was 14.

▪ Graham’s become a lot more confident since he finished his training.

▪ I saw her this morning, but I haven’t seen her since.

ever since

▪ Jack has had a fascination with cars ever since he was four.

▪ They bought the caravan last summer, and they’ve had trouble with it ever since.

▷ until also till especially spoken /ʌnˈtɪl, tɪl/ [preposition/conjunction]

if something happens until or till a time or event, it continues and then stops at that time or event :

▪ David worked as a teacher until 1989.

▪ I’ll be at home until 5:30 if you want to phone me.

▪ She polished the car until it shone.

▪ I didn’t learn to drive until I was 31.

▪ The library’s only open till five on Saturdays.

▪ Just wait till I’ve finished my coffee.

▷ from ... until also from ... till ... especially spoken /frəm ... ʌnˈtɪl, frəm ... tɪl/ [preposition/conjunction]

use this to say that something starts happening at one time or event and continues until another time or event :

▪ I have a class Monday from five o'clock till eight o'clock at night.

▪ I lived there from the age of 14 until I went to college.

▪ Max edited the paper from 1950 until he retired in 1989.

▷ from ... to ... /frəm ... tə .../ [preposition]

use this to say that something starts at a particular time and stops at a later time :

from May to September/from 9 am to 5 pm etc

▪ Eisenhower was President from 1952 to 1956.

▪ I’m going to use the computer lab from eight to ten Friday morning.

▪ My plan is to train seriously from January to July.

▷ through /θruː/ [preposition] American

May through September/Monday through Friday etc

starting in May and continuing until September, starting on Monday and continuing until and including Friday, etc :

▪ The store is open Monday through Saturday.

▪ ‘When will you be away?’ ‘The 17th through the 19th.’

▷ Monday-Friday/6:00-8:00 /ˌmʌndi tə ˈfraɪdi, ˌsɪks tʊ ˈeɪt/ written

starting on Monday and continuing until and including Friday, starting at 6 o'clock and continuing until 8 o'clock etc - used on signs and notices :

▪ Visit the exhibition of modern art, open every day, 9:30-6:00.

▪ A special fishing licence is required for the season (May-September).

8. the period of time that something lasts or takes

▷ length of time /ˌleŋθ əv ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

a considerable/reasonable length of time

▪ The noise went on for a considerable length of time.

▪ Make sure that the speakers only talk for a reasonable length of time, so that everyone gets a chance to take part.

length of time (that)

▪ Dress the wound quickly, to reduce the length of time it is exposed to infection.

the length of time it takes to do something

▪ Typically, the length of time it takes an adult to fall asleep is 10 to 15 minutes.

▷ duration /djʊˈreɪʃ ə nǁdʊ-/ [uncountable noun] formal

the length of time that something lasts for :

▪ Zoe’s temper tantrums had increased both in volume and duration.

two years’/a month’s etc duration

▪ After a long voyage of two years’ duration, he arrived in Canton in 1669.

▪ These workshops, usually of one or two days’ duration, bring teachers and industrial managers together.

duration of

▪ The doctor will ask you about the duration and frequency of your headaches.

▪ He refused to comment on his salary or the duration of his contract.

for the duration (of something)

▪ It was decided that we would stay with my cousins for the duration of the war.

▷ time scale /ˈtaɪm skeɪl/ [countable noun]

the period of time during which something develops or exists, especially as compared with another period that is much longer or shorter :

▪ Compared to how long it took for the Universe to evolve, our human time scale is tiny.

▪ Carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere by a number of processes that operate on different time scales.

▪ In today’s computer industry, the whole time scale of new product development is far shorter than it was 10 years ago.

9. a short time

▷ a minute/moment /ə ˈmɪnə̇t, ˈməʊmənt/ [singular noun]

a very short time :

▪ Can I show you something? It’ll only take a minute.

▪ Luke thought for a moment and then said: ‘Would you like to come too?’

▪ Can you turn that off a minute for a minute ?

in a minute/moment

▪ Yes, I’m coming in a moment.

a minute/moment ago

▪ Helen was here a minute ago. You’ve just missed her.

for a minute/moment

▪ If you’d been quiet for a minute, I’d explain what happened.

▷ a second also a sec informal /ə ˈsekənd, ə ˈsek/ [singular noun] spoken

a very short time - use this especially when asking someone to wait for a short time :

▪ Just a second - I think it’s on the desk upstairs.

for a second/sec

▪ For a second there, I forgot what it was called.

in a second/sec

▪ Hang on, I’ll be with you in a sec.

▷ not long /nɒt ˈlɒŋǁ-ˈlɔːŋ/ [noun phrase]

a short time :

▪ ‘How long will it take?’ ‘Oh, not long - just a couple of hours.’

▪ I saw her not long ago.

not long before/after

▪ His book was published not long after he died.

▪ It wasn’t long before Gemma lost all interest in the new puppy.

not long to go

used to say that something will happen in a short time

▪ ‘When’s the baby due?’ ‘Three weeks, so there’s not long to go.’

won’t be long

use this to say that someone or something will come or return soon

▪ I’m popping to the shop, I won’t be long.

▪ Supper won’t be long.

▷ a bit /ə ˈbɪt/ [singular noun] especially British, spoken

a short time :

▪ Wait a bit, I’ve nearly finished.

▪ I sat down, and after a bit, the phone rang.

▪ Do you mind looking after the kids for a bit while I go out?

▷ a little/short while /ə ˌlɪtl, ˌʃɔːʳt ˈwaɪl/ [singular noun]

a short period of time, during or after which something happens :

▪ Bob’s only worked here for a short while, about six months I think.

▪ It always takes a little while to get used to the climate.

a little/short while ago

▪ He was on the telly a short while ago.

▷ a short/brief space of time /ə ˌʃɔːʳt, ˌbriːf speɪs əv ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

a short period of time during which a lot of things happen :

in/within a short space of time

▪ It’s amazing how much you can learn in such a short space of time.

▪ In the brief space of time since the war ended, citizens have managed to rebuild over half the city.

▪ She had gained an awful lot of journalistic experience within a short space of time.

10. a long time

▷ a long time /ə ˌlɒŋ ˈtaɪmǁ-ˌlɔːŋ-/:

▪ They’ve been married for 30 years - that’s a long time.

▪ It takes me a long time to really trust people.

for a long time

▪ The house has been empty for a long time.

▪ Have you been waiting here for a long time?

in a long time

▪ It’s the worst cold I’ve had in a long time.

▪ I haven’t worn this dress in such a long time.

a long time ago

▪ He died a long time ago.

▪ The accident happened such a long time ago that I can’t remember much about it.

a very long time/a long, long time

▪ I’ve had those books for a long, long time.

▪ It’s very well built and should last a very long time.

▷ long /lɒŋǁlɔːŋ/ [adverb]

▪ It has long been recognized that a high-fat diet can cause heart problems.

▪ She’s convinced that Grandmother is not going to live long.

▪ The journey took longer than I thought it would.

long before/after

a long time before/after

▪ Long after the war, the wreckage of his plane was discovered.

▪ She was wearing fake fur long before it became fashionable.

for long

for a long time

▪ Have you been working here for long?

▪ The phone rang for so long, I hung up in the end.

long ago

▪ I guess it didn’t happen very long ago.

take (somebody) so long

▪ Why is it taking so long?

▪ I bet it doesn’t take your mom so long to make an apple pie.

▷ all day/night/year/week /ɔːl ˈdeɪ, ˈnaɪt, ˈjɪəʳ, ˈwiːk/ []

continuing for the whole day, night, year etc -- use this especially to emphasize that it is a long time :

▪ It’s going to take us all night to finish marking these papers!

▪ He’s in London all week, and only comes home at the weekends.

all day/week etc long

▪ I’ve been working all day long.

▪ Susie, you must have been on the phone all night long!

▷ hours/weeks/years /aʊəʳz, wiːks, jɪəʳz/

many hours, weeks, or years -- use this to emphasize the length of time, or to say that it is much longer than you think it should be :

▪ It’s years since I rode a bike.

▪ My wife had to wait months for a hospital appointment.

for years/hours etc

▪ I lived there for years.

in years/hours etc

▪ That’s one of the best films I’ve seen in years.

▷ ages /ˈeɪdʒɪz, ˈeɪdʒəz/ [plural noun] especially British, spoken

a very long time :

▪ It seems like ages since we had a holiday.

take (somebody) ages

▪ This software takes ages to load.

▪ It took him ages to guess who it was in the photo.

for ages

▪ I’ve been waiting here for ages.

ages ago

▪ ‘When did you last see Barbara?’ ‘Oh, ages ago.’

ages and ages

use this to emphasize how long something takes or lasts

▪ It’s the first time for ages and ages he’s taken me out.

▷ donkey’s years/ages /ˈdɒŋkiz jiəʳzǁˈdɑːŋ-, ˈeɪdʒə̇z/ [noun phrase] British informal

a long time, use this especially to say that something happened a very long time ago :

for donkey’s years/ages

▪ Some of these medicines have been in the stockroom for donkey’s years.

▪ That’s been going on for donkey’s ages -- didn’t you know?

donkey’s years/ages ago

▪ We used to play golf together, but that was donkey’s years ago.

▷ the longest time /ðə ˌlɒŋgə̇st ˈtaɪmǁ-ˌlɔːŋ-/ [adverb] American

a very long time :

▪ It took me the longest time to figure out how to work the sunroof in this car.

▪ For the longest time, I thought Nathan was Asian.

11. a fairly long time

▷ a while also some time formal /ə ˈwaɪl, sʌm ˈtaɪm/

a fairly long time :

▪ He was furious, and it took him a while to calm down.

▪ It may be some time before the company starts to make a profit.

for a while/for some time

▪ We hadn’t seen him for a while, and he’d completely changed.

▪ I’ve known Paul for some time, and I’m sure he wouldn’t have said that.

after a while/after some time

▪ After a while, I realized what he meant.

▪ Not a single vehicle passed, but after some time they heard the roar of planes taking off at the airfield.

quite a while/quite some time

▪ When she left school, it was quite a while before she found a job.

▪ I stayed in the Stage Coach Inn, but it’s been quite some time ago.

a while since/some time since

▪ It’s been a while since we last heard from Jo.

▪ The team has spent some time since their last defeat on new tactics.

a while ago/some time ago

▪ The cafe was taken over a while ago.

▪ We arranged the meeting some time ago -- were you not informed?

12. a period of time

▷ period /ˈpɪ ə riəd/ [countable noun] especially written

a particular length of time with a beginning and an end :

period of

▪ These accounts are drawn up for a period of 52 weeks.

▪ After a brief period of independence, Belorussia came under Soviet rule.

for a period

▪ You shouldn’t sit in front of a computer screen for long periods without a break.

▪ Anne had difficulty holding down a job for any period of time.

period of time

▪ The work had to be completed within a limited period of time.

long/short period

▪ The company expects a growth in profitability over a longer period.

▪ Then, within a short period, his mother, father, and brother all died.

a ten-day/three-year etc period

▪ The money can be paid back over a five-year period.

▪ The researchers observed mothers and their new infants for a three-day period.

over a period

▪ The restoration of the ceiling was completed over a period of two years.

during a period

▪ During this period, Tanya was making very little money.

▪ black immigration into Britain during the post-war period

▷ time /taɪm/ [singular noun]

a period of time - use this especially to talk about a period in the past, or when you are not saying whether the period was long or short :

▪ Bill had lost his job, and it was a difficult time for him.

▪ I really enjoyed my time at university.

at one time

at a period of time in the past, but not now

▪ At one time, Hakami was ranked 32nd in the world.

▪ Martin had been at one time a student at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

for the time being

for a short period of time, starting now

▪ You can stay in the spare room for the time being, until you find a place.

▪ Entrance fees to the exhibit have been reduced for the time being.

during that/this time

▪ He played for Barcelona for four years, and during that time they won two major competitions.

for a time

▪ He chatted to us for a time, then left.

▪ For a time, the 1,600 seater hall was home to a Saturday night film show, before being converted to a night club.

after a time

▪ After a time, I began to feel more relaxed.

▪ All systems settle down after a time.

▷ term /tɜːʳm/ [countable noun]

a length of time that is officially fixed for someone’s period of responsibility or power, for someone’s period in prison, or for a business contract :

▪ Mr Toplak had just started his term as vice-president of the company.

▪ The Socialists are hoping to secure another term in government.

▪ The bank says that they can extend the term of our mortgage.

first/second etc term

▪ General Herrera was elected to a third term of office as President.

▪ He hopes to visit China during his second term in office.

7-year/2-month etc term

▪ He recently completed a two-year term as chairman.

term of imprisonment


▪ Political dissidents are sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

prison/jail term

▪ She had her jail term cut for good behaviour.

term of/in office

term for holding an official position

▪ He is halfway into his term of office.

▪ The Democrats are hoping to deny him a third term in office.

fixed term

when the term of a business or employment contract is set to a particular length

▪ The managers were all hired for a fixed term.

serve a term

▪ Malik is now serving a three-year term in prison.

▪ Elected members of the House of Assembly serve a six-year term.

▷ season /ˈsiːz ə n/ [countable noun]

a period of several weeks or months, at the same time every year, during which a particular activity takes place :

▪ The Bulls would consider re-signing him next season.

the 2001/2001-02 etc season

▪ Smith should own the record outright by the third or fourth game of the 2001 season.

breeding/hunting/fishing/baseball etc season

▪ When does the baseball season start?

▪ Foxes become very noisy at the height of the mating season.

▪ The latest challenge is to promote the LSO’s winter concert season.

▷ stretch /stretʃ/ [countable noun]

a period of time between other periods, especially one during which there is not much activity or no interruptions :

▪ During their worst stretch of 1996, the Padres lost 19 of their 23 games.

▪ He spent several brief stretches in jail for minor offences.

▪ This is the last game in a four-day stretch here at the Forum.

stretch of time

▪ Sometimes between battles, there were long stretches of time when nothing happened.

▷ stint /stɪnt/ [countable noun] informal

a period of time doing a particular job or course, often quite a short period :

▪ After a stint in the army, Bill worked in sales.

▪ Krem began his career with the Victoria Symphony, followed by stints with orchestras in Winnipeg and Quebec.

stint of

▪ Dimascio was promoted after serving a stint of five years as a sergeant pilot.

a five-year/six-day etc stint

▪ He has changed his schedule to a three-day stint, which starts Friday.

short/brief stint

▪ Rick was fired in August after a brief stint with a Portland courier service.

do/serve a stint

▪ She served a two-year stint as an aide to Congressman Jim McNulty.

▪ We should thank Mary for the long stint she’s done as party treasurer.

▷ spell /spel/ [countable noun]

a period of a particular type of activity, weather etc, usually a short period :

▪ After a brief spell in the army, I returned to teaching.

spell of

▪ He’s had a spell of bad luck recently.

a cold/wet/dry etc spell

▪ We had another cold spell last week.

▷ a bad patch /ə ˈbæd ˌpætʃ/ [noun phrase] British

a short period of trouble, difficulty, or unhappiness, experienced by someone who is usually happy, successful etc :

go through a bad patch

experience a period of trouble etc

▪ He went through a bad patch after his wife died, but now he seems to be back to normal.

hit a bad patch

start to experience a period of trouble etc

▪ The team aren’t doing so well at the moment are they? They seem to have hit a bad patch.

13. a period of time in history

▷ period /ˈpɪ ə riəd/ [countable noun]

a particular period of time in history, especially a period that is studied as a historical subject :

▪ Which period of history are you studying at the moment?

▪ We will be examining some original documents from the period.

the Roman/Tudor etc period

▪ Many of Britain’s roads were built originally in the Roman period.

▪ This chapter will focus primarily on the Neolithic period in Europe.

▷ era /ˈɪ ə rə/ [countable noun]

a period of time in history that is remembered because of important political, religious, or artistic events and achievements, that make it different from other periods :

era in/of

▪ an exciting era in technological sophistication

▪ We live in an era of breathtaking change.

end of an era

▪ When Charles De Gaulle died, it seemed like the end of an era.

a new era

▪ The treaty marks the dawn of a new era in East--West relations.

the Roman/Christian/Stalin/McCarthy etc era

▪ archaeological remains dating from the late Roman era

▪ During the McCarthy era, hundreds of innocent US citizens were persecuted for their beliefs.

▷ age /eɪdʒ/ [countable noun]

a period of time in history that represents a particular stage in the development of civilization or machines and tools :

age of

▪ Newton lived in an age of exploration and discovery.

▪ In this age of the Internet, finding a job can be much easier.

Stone Age/Nuclear Age etc

▪ These simple tools were used for hunting in the Stone Age.

▪ the architecture of the industrial age

golden age

the period considered to be the best, the most successful etc

▪ Many consider the ‘30s and ’40s to be the golden age of Hollywood movies.

14. the right time or a good time to do something

▷ the right time /ðə ˌraɪt ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

the best time to do something, when you are most likely to get the result that you want :

▪ Yes, I’m going to ask him - I’m just waiting for the right time.

the right time to do something

▪ It seemed like the right time to start planning something new.

▪ I don’t think it’s the right time to tell Jeff.

the right time of day/year

▪ If you get here at the right time of day, you might get to see the birds feeding.

▪ This really isn’t the right time of the year to start working on the house.

▷ a good time /ə ˌgʊd ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

a suitable or convenient time :

▪ I’d like to come on Saturday - would that be a good time?

a good time for

▪ 11 o'clock would be quite a good time for me, if you can make it.

a good time to do something

▪ Now is a good time to start applying for jobs.

▪ Right after the Easter break is a good time to visit Florida.

▪ I’ll be here all day Friday, so when would be a good time to meet?

▷ come at the right time/come at a good time /kʌm ət ðə ˌraɪt ˈtaɪm, kʌm ət ə ˌgʊd ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

if something comes at the right time or comes at a good time, it happens when you need or want it to happen :

▪ I lost my job last month, so this offer has come at just the right time.

▪ Well, you’re news comes at a good time, Helen.

▷ be the time /biː ðə ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

an expression meaning to be the right time to do something important, use this especially when you are advising someone what they should do :

be the time to do something

▪ If you’re going to buy a house, now’s the time to do it.

be the time for

▪ The reason I’m saying ‘no’ is because right now is not the time for making a mess in here.

▷ timing /ˈtaɪmɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

the ability to choose the right time to do something, especially when this is a skill you have learned or practised :

▪ When you’re a comedian, timing is very important.

▪ He eventually played in another 28 games, but his timing and rhythm never returned.

good/perfect etc timing

▪ ‘Well, life’s just full of surprises,’ she retorted, with a comic’s perfect timing.

▪ You guys have good timing, we just started to eat.

sense of timing

the ability to choose the right time to do something, especially when this is a natural ability that you have

▪ Even at the end, George Burns never lost his impeccable sense of timing.

▷ timely /ˈtaɪmli/ [adjective]

actions, decisions etc that are timely happen at the right time, especially with the result that they prevent something bad from happening :

▪ The Government’s intervention was timely and may have prevented economic disaster.

▪ The database will provide timely and accurate information on the current status of the business.

▪ The fighting in the Ardennes came as a timely reminder that the West still needed the Russian army.

▷ well-timed /ˌwel ˈtaɪmd◂/ [adjective]

done at the right time so that it is likely to have a successful result :

▪ She took a sip of water during a well-timed pause, and waited for my reply.

▪ Wallace made a well-timed run through the midfield, collected the pass and scored with a low shot.

▪ The conference is well timed since most companies will have their third-quarter profits in by now.

▷ an opportune moment/time /ən ˌɒpətjuːn ˈməʊmənt, ˈtaɪmǁ-ˌɑːpərtuːn-/ [noun phrase] formal

a time when you are most likely to be successful, or a time which is convenient :

▪ For those who are waiting for the most opportune time to invest in a home, this is an excellent time to do that.

▪ This seemed like an opportune moment to ask the government to mount a tree-planting program.

15. the wrong time or a bad time for something

▷ the wrong time /ðə ˌrɒŋ ˈtaɪmǁ-ˌrɔːŋ-/ [noun phrase]

a time when you should not do something, because you will probably not be successful :

▪ It’s a case of the right idea at the wrong time.

the wrong time to do something

▪ I think this is the wrong time to ask for a pay increase.

▪ It seemed like the wrong time in my life to risk making yet another major change.

▷ a bad time/not a good time /ə ˌbæd ˈtaɪm, nɒt ə ˌgʊd ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

a time when something is not convenient or likely to be successful or that will cause problems :

▪ I really would like to come, but I’m afraid this is a bad time.

to do something

▪ If it’s not a good time to talk, I can call back.

▷ come at a bad time/come at the wrong time/not come at a good time /kʌm ət ə ˌbæd ˈtaɪm, kʌm ət ðə ˌrɒŋ ˈtaɪmǁ-ˌrɔːŋ-, nɒt kʌm ət ə ˌgʊd ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

to happen at a time when something it not likely to be successful or that will cause problems :

▪ These economic problems have come at the wrong time for the Republican Party.

▪ The widening trade gap is coming at a bad time for the president.

▪ The COE’s resignation has not come at a good time for the company.

▷ be no time/not be the time /biː ˌnəʊ ˈtaɪm, ˌnɒt biː ðə ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

an expression meaning to be the wrong time to do something, use this especially when you are telling someone what they should do or how they should behave :

be no time/not be the time for

▪ This is no time for that kind of talk. If you can’t be decent, keep your mouth shut.

▪ It’s not the time for politeness and etiquette when there are lives at stake.

be no time/not be the time to do something

▪ This was not the time to get angry, but Jodie couldn’t help herself.

▷ badly timed/ill-timed /ˌbædli ˈtaɪmd, ˌɪl ˈtaɪmd◂/ [adjective]

done at the wrong time so that it is likely to have an unsuccessful result :

▪ Wilkins’ outburst could not have been more ill-timed.

▪ Resentment over the chairman’s badly timed remarks is growing.

▪ The gesture was sincere, but ill-timed.

▷ an inopportune moment/time /ən ɪnˌɒpətjuːn ˈməʊmənt, ˈtaɪmǁ-ˌɪnɑːpərtuːn-/ [noun phrase] formal

a bad time, especially because it is inconvenient :

▪ He had wanted to visit the troops over Christmas, but the general said it would be an inopportune time.

▪ He always seems to say exactly the wrong thing at the most inopportune moment.

16. at the same time

▷ at the same time /ət ðə ˌseɪm ˈtaɪm/ [adverb]

▪ Charlie and I arrived at the same time.

▪ Are you supposed to press these two buttons at the same time?

▪ We’ve launched an appeal, and at the same time we are sending out supplies, shelters, and blankets.

at the same time as

▪ His wife had a baby at the same time as Elaine.

▪ You must have been at Harvard at the same time as I was.

all at the same time

when you do several things at the same time

▪ So you want to talk to them, identify that they are a candidate, and then give them the test all at the same time?

▷ together /təˈgeðəʳ/ [adverb]

if two or more people or things do the same thing together, they do it at the same time and usually in the same place :

▪ The Baltimore and Boston trains came in together.

▪ Three runners crossed the line together.

▷ at once /ət ˈwʌns/ [adverb]

if two or more things happen at once, they happen at the same time and this is annoying or causes problems :

▪ I can’t understand what you’re saying when you both talk at once.

▪ You’re trying to do too many things at once.

▪ Anyone know the answer? Don’t all shout at once, put your hand up.

all at once

▪ You can’t have three weeks’ holiday all at once, you’ll have to take them separately.

▷ at one time /ət ˌwʌn ˈtaɪm/ [adverb]

if someone does two or more things at one time, they do them at the same time, especially if this is difficult or impressive :

▪ This word processor allows you to work with two documents at one time.

▪ There aren’t many places around here where you can cater for fifty or so people at one time.

▪ You feel like you are going in twelve different directions at one time.

all at one time

▪ See, I can lock the doors all at one time.

▷ simultaneously /ˌsɪm ə lˈteɪniəsliǁˌsaɪ-/ [adverb]

if two or more things happen simultaneously, they happen at exactly the same time :

▪ The system can simultaneously search up to 16 databases.

▪ People can’t write and listen simultaneously.

▪ Video-conferencing enables us to address audiences all over the nation simultaneously.

17. while something else is happening

▷ while also whilst British /waɪl, waɪlst/ [conjunction]

during the same period of time that something is happening :

▪ I bought a magazine while I was waiting for the train.

▪ Did you get a lot of work done whilst the kids were out?

▪ I’ll just make a phone call while you finish the dishes.

▪ He was afraid he’d have another fit whilst he was driving.

▷ meanwhile /ˈmiːnwaɪl/ [adverb]

while something else is happening :

▪ Leave the vegetables to simmer, and meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil.

▪ Three helicopters scanned the area; the soldiers meanwhile were looking into back gardens, dustbins, and under hedgerows.

▷ as /əz, strong æz/ [conjunction]

if something happens as something else is happening, it happens at the same time :

▪ As we were leaving, Carole and her friends arrived.

▪ There was a shocked silence as he spoke.

▪ The sensor uses an infrared beam to ‘read’ a vehicle’s exhaust emissions as it drives past.

just as

at exactly the same time as

▪ He ran into the road just as a car was coming.

▪ The phone rang just as he stepped out of the shower.

as soon as

▪ As soon as I pulled in, the engine went dead.

▪ I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

18. to happen or do things at the same time

▷ coincide /ˌkəʊɪnˈsaɪd, ˌkəʊənˈsaɪd/ [intransitive verb]

if something coincides with something else, or if two things coincide, they happen at the same time as each other, usually by chance :

▪ When our vacations coincided, we often holidayed together.

coincide with

▪ His speech coincided with the release of a report on the New England economy.

▪ I had to cancel our lunch date, as it coincided with my hospital appointment.

timed/arranged to coincide

arranged so that something coincides

▪ The exhibition was timed to coincide with the anniversary celebrations.

▪ They have arranged the launch to coincide with the start of the college term.

▷ clash /klæʃ/ [intransitive verb]

if one event clashes with another, or if two events clash, they are arranged to happen at the same time, and this usually causes problems or is inconvenient :

▪ We can go to both classes if they don’t clash.

clash with

▪ We’ve rescheduled the next meeting -- it clashed with a conference that most of us will be attending.

▪ ‘Are you watching Family Fortunes tonight?’ ‘No, it clashes with the Tina Turner interview on Channel 3.’

▷ tie in with /ˌtaɪˈɪn wɪð something/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to arrange an event so that it happens at the same time as something else, because this helps you in some way :

▪ His publishers have tied the release in with his new television series.

▪ AIDS education can be tied in with existing health education programs.

▷ juggle /ˈdʒʌg ə l/ [transitive verb]

to try to do two or more things at the same time, even though this is difficult and you are very busy :

▪ The film is about a maintenance man who juggles three jobs to provide for his family.

▪ suburban working mothers who juggle careers, families, and after-school sports

juggle something and something

▪ I don’t think any man can ever understand the difficulties of juggling motherhood and politics.

juggle something with something

▪ With school starting, Anna will have to juggle her love of swimming with her homework.

19. to have enough time to do something

▷ have time/have the time /ˌhæv ˈtaɪm, ˌhæv ðə ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

▪ If you have time, I could show you around the rest of the house.

▪ Do you think we have the time?

have time/have the time to do something

▪ Few agencies have the time or the staff to train new employees.

▪ She put the phone down before I had time to reply.

▪ Just leave it on my desk till I have time to deal with it.

have time/have the time for

▪ Do you have time for a quick drink?

▪ Perhaps next year I’ll have more time for gardening.

▷ there is time /ðeər ɪz ˈtaɪm/

use this to say there is enough time for someone to do something :

▪ We thought we’d go to the museum, and maybe have some lunch too, if there’s time.

▪ If you hurry there should be time for a little shopping.

▪ I guess there’s time for a bedtime story, Lauren.

there is time for somebody to do something

▪ There’s still time for you to change your mind, you know.

▪ Is there time for me to wash my hair before we leave?

there is time to do something

▪ I don’t think there’s time to paint the whole wall today.

▷ when you have a moment/minute /ˌwen juː hæv ə ˈməʊmənt, ˈmɪnə̇t/ [adverb]

use this to mean ‘when you have a small amount of spare time during a period when you are very busy’, especially when you are asking someone to do something :

▪ When you have a minute, Josie, I’d like to talk to you.

▪ Do you have a minute? I have a couple of questions to ask.

▪ These letters are ready for you to sign when you have a moment.

have a spare moment/minute

▪ If you have a spare moment, could you read through my essay?

▪ It’s quite rare that I have a spare minute these days.

▷ it’s not too late /ɪts ˌnɒt tuː ˈleɪt/

use this to say that there is still enough time for someone to do something :

it’s not too late to do something

▪ If you haven’t got roses in your garden, it’s not too late to plant now.

▪ It’s still not too late to get a flu vaccine.

it’s not too late for somebody to do something

▪ He insists it’s not too late for United to win the cup, though he admits it will be an uphill struggle.

20. to have very little time to do something

▷ have (very) little time/not have much time /hæv (ˌveri) lɪtl ˈtaɪm, nɒt hæv ˌmʌtʃ ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

have (very) little time/not have much time for

▪ I don’t have much time for visiting, parties and so on.

have (very) little time/not have much time to do something

▪ We had very little time to train for the big game.

▪ I’m afraid I have had very little time to entertain you or introduce you to anyone.

▪ ‘Have you decided yet?’ ‘I’ve not had much time to think about it.’

▷ be short of time /biː ˌʃɔːʳt əv ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

to have very little time to do something, especially because you have a lot of things to do :

▪ If you’re short of time, I recommend seeing at least the museum and the cathedral.

▪ She was puzzled, but too short of time to argue with him.

run short of time

▪ As we’re running short of time, let me end with just one example of what I mean.

▷ be pressed/pushed for time /biː ˌprest, ˌpʊʃt fəʳ ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

to have very little time to do something, especially with the result that you have to do it very quickly :

▪ I was pressed for time in my few days in Sydney, and did not have the opportunity to explore the city.

▪ It’s probably best to avoid the main roads unless you’re really pushed for time.

21. to not have enough time to do something

▷ not have (the) time/have no time /nɒt hæv (ðə) ˈtaɪm, hæv ˌnəʊ ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

▪ I’ll look at it later. I haven’t got time at the moment.

▪ Harold was supposed to organize the trip, but he just didn’t have the time.

not have (the) time/have no time to do something

▪ I didn’t have time to take a shower this morning.

▪ I haven’t had time to write those letters yet.

▪ We won’t have time to practice tonight.

not have (the) time/have no time for

▪ I don’t have time for lunch.

▪ She says she has no time for relaxation.

▷ there is no time /ðeər ɪz ˌnəʊ ˈtaɪm/

use this to say that there is not enough time for someone to do something :

there is no time to do something

▪ The train was about to leave, and there was no time to buy a ticket.

▪ There’s no time to go through all these applications this morning.

there is no time for

▪ Look, there’s no time for that now. We have to get moving.

▷ run out of time /ˌrʌn aʊt əv ˈtaɪm/ [verb phrase]

to be unable to finish doing something within the time that you have to do it in :

▪ I’m sorry, we seem to have run out of time. Thanks to everyone who took part.

▪ I have to finish this by tomorrow, and I’m running out of time.

22. when a period of time passes

▷ pass/go by /pɑːsǁpæs, ˌgəʊ ˈbaɪ/ [intransitive verb/intransitive phrasal verb]

▪ Three weeks passed, and Max had still not found a job.

▪ Years passed before she could bring herself to call me ‘Frank’ without the ‘Mister’.

▪ Hardly a week goes by when I do not think of you.

time passes/goes by

▪ The side effects tend to subside as time passes.

▪ I was trying to calculate how much time had gone by since I heard the scream.

▷ elapse /ɪˈlæps/ [intransitive verb not in progressive] formal

if a period of time elapses, it passes, especially between two events :

elapse before/since/between

▪ Nine years elapsed before he produced his eighth symphony.

▪ It seems remarkable that nearly thirty years has elapsed since there was a major museum exhibition in the city.

▪ A surprisingly long time had elapsed between the discovery of the body and the arrival of the police.

▷ the passage/passing of time /ðə ˌpæsɪdʒ, ˌpɑːsɪŋ əv ˈtaɪm/ [noun phrase]

the process of time passing over a long period, especially when people or things change during this time - used especially in stories or descriptions :

▪ Two children, a successful marriage, and the passage of time had helped Maisie to forget her unhappy childhood.

▪ The early recordings have hardly stood up well to the passage of time.

▪ The passing of time did little to lessen his grief.

with the passage of time

▪ Behaviour and social attitudes change with the passing of time.

▪ These ancient settlements have perished with the passage of time.

23. time passes quickly

▷ go fast/quickly /ˌgəʊ ˈfɑːst, ˈkwɪkliǁ-ˈfæst/ [verb phrase]

▪ The rest of the weekend went too quickly -- he wanted it to last forever.

▪ Today can’t go fast enough for me.

▪ The summer seems to have come and gone so quickly.

make something go faster/more quickly

to make work, a journey etc seem to take less time than it really does

▪ Reading on the train makes the journey go more quickly.

▪ It’s great having you to talk to. It makes the time go faster.

▷ fly by /ˈflaɪ baɪ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if a period of time flies by, it seems to pass very quickly, especially when you have been very busy or enjoying yourself :

▪ The afternoon flew by as they went through the next scene together.

▪ Hours can fly by as I write, and I don’t even notice.

▪ Time is flying by quickly now and it seems impossible that there are only three months left.

▷ time flies /ˌtaɪm ˈflaɪz/

use this when you are surprised at how quickly the time has passed, especially when you have been enjoying yourself :

▪ Is Richard eight already? Doesn’t time fly?

▪ ‘Hasn’t the afternoon passed quickly?’ said Carol. ‘Time flies when you’re having fun.’

▷ tick away /ˌtɪk əˈweɪ/ [intransitive phrasal verb]

if the minutes, the hours, time etc tick away, it passes, especially when you must do something before a particular time or when you are frightened or nervous :

▪ He had to watch the minutes tick away while the emergency services tried to locate him.

▪ Aware of how the minutes were ticking away, Julia desperately scribbled down the last few answers.

24. time passes slowly

▷ go slowly /ˌgəʊ ˈsləʊli/ [verb phrase]

▪ The rest of the day went very slowly for Anne.

▪ The lesson lasted all morning, and seemed to go even more slowly than usual.

▷ drag /dræg/ [intransitive verb]

if time drags, it seems to pass very slowly, especially because you are bored :

▪ Why do physics lessons always seem to drag?

drag by/on

▪ The day dragged on, and there was still no sign of Jake.

▪ As time dragged on, I gradually got worse.

▪ As the months drag by, you find out who your real friends are.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .