time

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UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈtaɪm/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/taɪm/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(tīm)


Inflections of 'time' (v): (⇒ conjugate)
times
v 3rd person singular
timing
v pres pverb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing."
timed
v pastverb, past simple: Past tense--for example, "He saw the man." "She laughed."
timed
v past pverb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked."
WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
time
Time (for information on telling the time, and on prepositions and adverbs used to talk about time)
‘time’
Time is what we measure in hours, days, years, etc.
It seemed like a long period of time.
More time passed.
You don't usually use time when you are saying how long something takes or lasts. Don't say, for example, ‘The course took two years’ time' or ‘Each song lasts ten minutes’ time'. Say ‘The course took two years’ or ‘Each song lasts ten minutes’.
The whole process probably takes twenty-five years.
The tour lasts 4 hours.
You can, however, use time when you are saying how long it will be before something happens. For example, you can say ‘We are getting married in two years’ time'.
The exchange ends officially in a month's time.
In a few days' time, she may change her mind.
Time is usually an uncountable noun, so don't use ‘a’ with it. Don't say, for example, ‘I haven’t got a time to go shopping'. Say ‘I haven’t got time to go shopping'.
I didn't know if we'd have time for tea.
‘a...time’
However, you can use a with an adjective and time when you are showing how long something takes or lasts. You can say, for example, that something takes a long time or takes a short time.
The proposal would take quite a long time to discuss in detail.
After a short time one of them said ‘It’s all right, we're all friends here.'
You can also use expressions like these, with or without for, as adverbial phrases.
He's going to have to wait a very long time.
They worked together for a short time.
You've only been in the firm quite a short time.
If you are enjoying yourself while you are doing something, you can say, for example, that you are having a good time.
Downstairs, Aneesa was having a wonderful time.
Did you have a good time in Edinburgh?
You must use a in sentences like these. Don't say, for example, ‘Aneesa was having wonderful time’.
meaning ‘occasion’
Time is used with the or that and a qualifier to refer to the occasion when something happened or will happen.
By the time the waiter brought their coffee, she was almost asleep.
Do you remember that time when Adrian phoned up?
When time has this meaning, you can use words like first or last in front of it.
It was the first time she spoke.
When was the last time I saw you?
Expressions such as the first time and the next time are often adverbial phrases.
The next time he would offer to pay.
The second time I hired a specialist firm.
Next time (without ‘the’) is also an adverbial.
You'll see a difference next time.
Next time you will do everything right.
‘on time’
If something happens on time, it happens at the right time or punctually.
He turned up on time for guard duty.
Their planes usually arrive on time.
‘in time’
Don't confuse on time with in time. If you are in time for a particular event, you are not late for it.
We're just in time.
He returned to his hotel in time for a late supper.
If something such as a job or task is finished in time, it is finished at or before the time when it should be finished.
I can't do it in time.
In time has another meaning. You use it to say that something happens eventually, after a lot of time has passed.
In time the costs will decrease.
In time I came to see how important this was.
'time' also found in these entries:
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