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Time idioms in English Posted by on Aug 31, 2019 in English Language, English Vocabulary

Hello, dear readers. Long time no see! It’s about time I wrote a new post. I can’t believe it is August already! It’s amazing how time flies. So you have probably guessed what today’s text is about by now. You got it, we are going to cover some useful time idioms. There are endless expressions in the English language that refer to the passage of time so let’s not waste any time and get started!

pocket watches

Pocket watch (Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

TIME FLIES

Meaning: time passes very quickly

  • I can’t believe it is time for our children to go to college, amazing how time flies 
  • It feels like we just got here and it is already time to go home. Time really flies when you are on vacation 

ON TIME 

Meaning: not to be late, at the right time

  • The trains in Japan are always on time, it’s really impressive
  • Jana is never on time for work, she might get in trouble for that 
  • I hope the plane will be on time to pick us up, otherwise we might miss the flight

TURN BACK TIME

Meaning: go back to the past, to regret something you did 

  • I think we all wish we could turn back time and be nicer to our parents
  • If only I could turn back time and go back to the university, I would to everything differently 

BEAT THE CLOCK 

Meaning: finish something before a deadline, do something fast before you running out of time

  • Although Kevin didn’t hear his alarm go off in the morning, he managed to beat the clock and get to 10 minutes early 
  • The exam was long and tough, but I was able to beat the clock and complete it just in time! 

FOR THE TIME BEING 

Meaning:  something temporary 

  • You brother can stay with us for the time being, but he has to find his own flat soon 
  • This phone is okay for the time being, but I think I need something more modern for the future

IN THE LONG RUN 

Meaning : long term 

  • I think bringing my own lunch to work is too time-consuming, but I know in the long run this will help me save up 
  • Exercising regularly can be hard, but it brings a lot of benefits in the long run 

CALL IT A DAY/NIGHT 

Meaning: finish doing something temporarily 

  • I’ve been working on this project for a long time with no progress. I’ll just call it a day and see if I come up with new ideas tomorrow 
  • Good job, everyone! Now let’s call it a day and I’ll see you all tomorrow

TIME OFF 

Meaning: to take a holiday or a break from work | sair de folga ou dar uma pausa no trabalho

  • I would love to go on this trip with you, but I don’t think I will be able to take any time off at work 
  • My sister always takes some time off at work on the holidays to spend time with her family 

(only) TIME WILL TELL 

Meaning: the result of something will only be known in the future 

  • It’s hard to predict how these new government reforms will affect people’s lives, only time will tell 
  • Time will tell if this if that was a good investment or not 

TO HAVE A GOOD/ GREAT TIME 

Meaning: to enjoy yourself 

  • Have a good time at the party tonight! 
  • I went to Paris by myself, but I had a great time anyway

GIVE SOMEONE A HARD TIME 

Meaning: to make things difficult for someone, treat them badly 

  • I think my boss doesn’t like me very much, he boss keeps giving me a hard time at work 
  • Stop giving your brother such a hard time! He is younger than you 

So how about we call it a day? I had a great time writing this post! Can you remember any other time-related expressions? Let us know in the comment box! 

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