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For Students: Time

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

It's that time again... Do you know the most common noun in your language? In English the most common noun is time and it is no surprise. Time and time again you will hear, see, and use this word. We have many phrases, idioms, and expressions all containing this word time. Once upon a time, I didn't know this word was the most common, but the first time I found out, I wasn't really surprised after I took some time to think about it. It really is everywhere, we use it all the time as you are going to see in this post how many times, time, comes up

Let's start with a question, when was the last time you used this noun, and how did you use it? Did you ask someone for the time? Or did you simply tell your friend you don't (any) have time to go to the cinema because you're working hard as you have deadlines to meet and time is running out or you're working hard trying to butter up your boss so he gives you some time off in the new year, so you can go and enjoy the sunshine or that city you have been waiting a long time to visit. Or, is your boss just giving you a hard time and doesn't want you to spend time with your friends.

Time is an amazing thing, and at the same time terrifying. Time flies, it feels like only yesterday I was in the playground at school. It's nearly Christmas – where did the time go? – it's strange to think I was killing time at the airport in January while I waited for my plane which was bang on time to take me to sunnier climates and that was nearly 12 months ago. Sadly, time waits for no-one..

Can you remember the time before work, bills, and paying rent? A time when you had more time for things you like to do in your spare time. A time when you were more carefree and if you looked in the mirror and thought 'it's time for a change' you could shave off your hair, dye it, or get with the times and change your style. Sadly, those good times, are gone, but don't worry, good times are ahead. Your future, only time will tell what joys are waiting for you, who knows?

I've wasted enough time writing this (joke).... I've got to go. I'm expecting a delivery any time now so that's the end of this week's post. I hope you had a nice time reading it and it wasn't a waste of time... OK... until next time, time up

Take your time to read the meanings below of the many faces of time and try answering the following questions.

When was the first time you spoke English?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Have you ever thought it was time for a change and did something completely different?

How often do you need to have some alone time?

Do you start to panic when you're running out of time?

When you meet your friends are you on time, before time, just in the nick of time, or late?

Cheers - English native speaker and CELTA qualified English teacher based in Lviv

English Skype lessons and Zoom classes with a British native speaker

It's that time again – something that occurs regularly at a certain time

time and time again / time after time – to do something repeatedly

once upon a time – used at the beginning of fairy tales to indicate a very long time ago

the first time I... – to talk about your first experience

to take some time to think about it – to think about things in detail

when was the last/first time you.... - asking about the first and last time you did something

don't have (any) time – when you are too busy

time is running out / running out of time / time is ticking – time is coming to an end

time off – a break from work or study

to give someone a hard time – to treat someone unfairly

spend time – time you enjoy

time flies – time goes by very quickly

where did the time go – a question asked when lots of time has passed. Not to be answered

killing time – doing something to make the time pass quicker

bang on time – to be the exact time stated or agreed

time waits for no-one – nobody can control time

I remember the time when – to reflect back to a period of time in your life

a time

to have time – when you have time for other things outside of work or study

spare time / free time – your hobbies and things you enjoy outside of work and study

time for a change – to completely change something in your life

get with the times – to become more modern and up-to-date with society

good times – good moments in your life

only time will tell – when we don't know what the future will bring

to waste your time – to spend it not doing something meaningful

any time now – when you are expecting something to happen

have a nice time – to enjoy yourself

a waste of time – something not worthwhile

time up – when time is finished

take your time – to relax and not rush doing something

high time – strong advice to do something

in the nick of time – to arrive or do something just before the time ends

now is the time - the perfect time to do something

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