In this post, you're going to learn 15 English Expressions with ‘Time.'
These 15 expressions with “time” in this blog come from a video of English with Lucy.
English with Lucy is a fantastic British YouTuber who shares lots of advice on learning English and provides very clear examples. Make sure you check out her channel!
Introductions over, I think it’s time we got started!
- “I’m always on time for work, but I’m often late to parties!”
‘On time’ means to arrive at the correct time.
Being on time is very important to me! So, I often find myself using this expression in the negative sense. For example “why is she never on time?”.
We also use on time to talk about completing something before or at the deadline.
For example, I could pay my electricity bill on time, or complete my homework on time.
- “My train leaves at 10.30, so I must arrive in time to buy my tickets and a coffee before.”
‘In time’ means to arrive before you have to be there.
We often use the expression “in plenty of time”. For example, I’m always worried about missing a train, so I always arrive at the station in plenty of time.
Ok, this might mean that I sit there for over an hour, but it’s better than being late!
- “The present I ordered arrived just in time for his birthday!”
‘Just in time’ means to arrive immediately before the correct time.
If your train leaves at 10.30 and you jump on right as the doors are closing, then you’ve made it just in time.
As in the example above, we can also use it for deadlines.
- “You must arrive at your appointment in good time”
Similar to ‘in plenty of time’, in good time means you’ve arrived well before the correct time.
Lucy also introduces the expression “all in good time” which means something will happen… eventually! You’ll often hear parents using it with children.
Lucy talks about how as a child she was desperate to open her Christmas presents and her mum would say “all in good time”. I remember exactly the same experience!
So, next time you’re wondering about your English level, and how long until you understand everything, the answer is… all in good time!
- “There’s no rush, do it in your own time”
‘In your own time’ has several meanings. It can mean to do something at your own pace and at whatever time you like.
It is often used sarcastically. A teacher might say to a student who hasn’t started working in class, “that’s ok, do it in your own time”. Of course, they really mean, “do it now!”.
The third meaning of ‘in your own time’ is to mean outside of work hours. I know I find it hard to switch off and stop answering work emails in my own time. Do you?
- “It’s about time you tidied your bedroom”
Here’s another one from my childhood!
My bedroom would be messy for weeks, and finally my mum would get so annoyed she’d tell me “it’s about time you tidied your bedroom”.
‘About time’ therefore means that it should have happened already.
- “I wish I had more time off! I’d love an extra day to relax”
‘Time off’ means time you’re not working, studying, or whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing.
It means free time, or a break from work.
When you work for a company, you usually get a set number of paid time off days – which means you get to rest, but still receive your salary.
There's also unpaid leave or unpaid time off, which means you get to rest and keep your job, but you won't be paid salary during for those days.
In the UK, you usually get 4 weeks of paid time off, but the policies around vacation days are different for each company.
- “Don’t rush. Take your time”
Very similar to one meaning of “in your own time”, take your time means to not rush. Again, it can often be used sarcastically.
Is your partner always late when you’re trying to go somewhere together? You might say “Take your time, we’re not in any rush” when you actually mean, “it’s about time we were leaving!”
- “Thank you for making the time to see me”
‘To make time’ means to find the time.
You could make the time to do something extra at work, to see somebody, or to do those chores you’ve been meaning to do for ages.
That reminds me, I must make the time to clean my house!
- “I don’t know whether the UK will keep getting hotter. Time will tell”
‘Time will tell’ means “we don’t know yet but we will in the future”.
- “Stop wasting time. Time is money”
‘Time is money’ is used to show that our time is valuable – especially at work!
- “I’m not really doing anything, just killing time”
‘To kill time’ means to do something to make a period of time go by faster.
For example, you might have thirty minutes to kill before you have to leave the house.
- “Time after time I’ve told you to keep your bedroom clean”
Another regular sentence from my childhood! ‘Time after time’ means again and again. Also, the title of one of Cyndi Lauper’s songs.
- “He showed up in the nick of time! Otherwise, we’d have had to cancel the meeting”
‘In the nick of time’ means when something happens at the last minute to prevent something bad from happening.
You’ll be unlikely to hear this in regular conversation, but if you were telling a story and wanted some dramatic effect, this would be a great expression to use.
- “I had a whale of a time writing this blog post!”
To have ‘a whale of a time’ means to have a fantastic time. I hope you had a whale of a time reading it too!
So, there you have fifteen expressions with time! It’s a lot to remember, but I know you’ll pick it up all in good time.
See if you can make the time to practice using these expressions. Take your time, because we all know practice makes perfect.
If you need to kill some time and do something useful, don’t forget to check out Lucy’s YouTube channel.
Alright then, I think it’s about time we finished!