Useful Phrases About Time

Useful Phrases About Time

We have to talk about it all the time, and time and time again we call it money, the biggest luxury and something that waits for no one. So, without further ado, let’s learn a few useful expressions about it. It’s about time…

1. Where Does the Time Go?

Meaning: Time seems to pass very quickly, doesn’t it?

Examples: 1) It’s easy to get to the end of a day and wonder where all the time went. 2) Sometimes, before we can learn how to enjoy life more, we first need to understand where our time goes. 3) It’s five o’clock already? Where does the time go?

2. Make Time

Meaning: to be sure there is enough time

Examples: 1) Make time to read personal development books, journal, and focus on being compassionate towards yourself. 2) It’s important to make time for your family. 3) The nurse should make time to talk to the patient.

3. In the Short Term / In the Long Term

Meaning: in the near future / over/for a long period of time

Examples: 1) Speak up and feel uncomfortable in the short term and you’ll enjoy life more in the long term. 2) The agreement should have very positive results in the long term. 3) You are probably a victim of 12 or 14-hour workdays. This kind of schedule may be unavoidable in the short term but can have devastating effects on family life in the long term.

4. Short / Tight On Time

Meaning: having little time

Examples: 1) Even if you’re short on time, a 20 minute walk can do wonders for your mood. 2) If you’re tight on time, you could find small ways to help others each day. 3) Mothers tend to be short on time and don’t always have the opportunity to go out shopping, so an online retailer that brings everything they need for their children into one online environment is a big time save (= a great time-saving thing).

5. Time Flies By

Meaning: time flies; time passes quickly

Examples: 1) If your days seem to be flying by and you’re not enjoying them, keep a diary of your activities to track how you spend your time. 2) Time sure flies by. 3) Slow down when your days seem to fly by.

6. Keep Track of Your Time

Meaning: be fully aware of where your time goes

Examples: 1) When you keep track of your time, you are more mindful about it. 2) For thousands of years, devices have been used to measure and keep track of time. 3) Google Calendar is an online calendar intended to help keep track of time and schedules.

7. Time-Conscious

Meaning: concerned about time

Examples: 1) People who are time-conscious map out their tasks in advance. 2) If you are overly time-conscious, you may get stressed easily. 3) Time-conscious people are said to be punctual.

8. Time-effective

Meaning: performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort (to describe people, use “highly effective”, “efficient” or “time-efficient”)

Examples: 1) We are looking for a time– and cost-effective solution. 2) This therapy is very time-effective. 3) We are designing a time-effective project.

9. Time suck (American English; informal)

Meaning: an activity to which one devotes a lot of time that might be better or more productively spent doing other things

Examples: 1) The Internet can be a colossal time suck. 2) Consciously decide if you want to pursue a major time suck. 3) Do ask yourself if a major time suck is a better use of your time than what you could otherwise do.

10. Time-consuming

Meaning: taking a lot of or too much time

Examples: 1) This can be an extremely time-consuming process. 2) This consumed a great deal of his time. 3) Starting a new business, however small, is a time-consuming exercise. 

11. Downtime (American English; informal)

Meaning: a time of reduced activity or inactivity

Examples: 1) Schedule 10 to 15 minutes between calls with clients so you can have built-in downtime to regain your balance. 2) Everyone needs downtime to unwind (= relax). 3) I need a bit of downtime and right now I’m enjoying this moment.

12. Oftentimes (American English; informal)

Meaning: often

Examples: 1) Oftentimes, things such as your own health or the health of your marriage are kept on the back burner (= have low priority) when a child is born. 2) We oftentimes don’t realize how quickly time passes. 3) He would oftentimes prefer to be alone.


Complete the sentences with one word. The answer key is given below.

  1. You should ___ time to work out.
  2. Look at the clock! Where did the time ___?
  3. Time-___ people oftentimes have a planner.
  4. Time ___ by, so make the most of it.
  5. Organizing a party can be a major time ___.
  6. In the short ___, you might make a loss, but you’ll make up for it later.
  7. I’m a bit tight ___ time, so can we speak fast?
  8. Everyone needs a little ___ every now and then.
  9. He would ___ just disappear for a few days.
  10. Organizing my closet would be super time-___.
  11. What is the most time-___ way to clean the whole house? I’m short on time, so the faster the better.
  12. A planner helps you keep ___ of your time, so it’s worth buying one.
  13. In this situation, a professional cleaner can be a huge time ___.
Make time for English!

Answer key: 1. make 2. go 3. conscious 4. flies 5. suck 6. term 7. on 8. downtime 9. oftentimes 10. consuming 11. effective 12. track 13. save

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