Time, Gentlemen, Please!
Our lives are defined by time.
I challenge you to keep track of the number of times you say the word “time” in the course of a single day:
What time is it?
How much time do I have?
It’s about time!
We spend time, waste time, lose time, and save time.
When we’re ready to go home from work, we say it’s time to call it a day.
When we’re ready to go to bed, we say it’s time to call it a night.
When we’re having fun, time flies. When we’re sad or bored, time drags by.
The following examples of “time” expressions are for our ESL readers.
He thinks his heart is broken, but time heals all wounds. (He’ll get over it when enough time has passed.)
She seems to be a good choice; time will tell if she can do the work. (When she has been in the job long enough, her ability or lack of it will be apparent.)
He graduated a year ago; it’s past time he looked for a job. (He should have looked for work before now.)
The firemen got to the house just in time to save the residents. (A few minutes later and they residents would have died.)
A year ago, the doctor gave him three months to live; he’s living on borrowed time. (He’s living longer than was expected.)
He was unable to travel for nine years; now he’s making up for lost time by visiting every continent. (He’s going to extremes in an effort to experience what he could not at an earlier time.)
Getting the transplant organ from California to the hospital in Kenya will be a race against time. (The organ will be useless if it does not reach its destination within a limited period.)
Charlie is never in a hurry. He will answer the telephone in his own sweet time. (He will answer when he is ready.)
Shakespeare’s works have stood the test of time. (to stand the test of time is to prove valuable or popular or useful for a very long time.)
He won’t give you a definite answer because he’s playing for time. (He is deliberately practicing delay.)
Now that you’re retired, I suppose you have time on your hands. (You don’t have anything that you must do.)
If you’re not some kind of celebrity, she won’t give you the time of day. (She won’t pay any attention to you.)
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