Time Crunch! Ways We Talk about Time

Culturally, Americans are very time conscious.  As a result, we have many idioms and expressions related to time.

TimepieceWe can spend time + V-ing    (use time)

Many people love to spend time playing video games.  In contrast, I prefer to spend time hiking.

We can waste time + V-ing    (use time badly)

One reason that it’s so terrible to have your wallet stolen is that you must waste a lot of time cancelling and replacing all of your identification and credit cards.  You will waste a lot of time on the phone calling banks and standing in line in government offices.

We can kill time by + V –ing    (make time pass quickly)

If I’m on a bus or sitting in a waiting room, I kill time by playing games on my phone.

We can save time by + V –ing    (use less time)

Most of us save time by using technology.  We have time saving devices like personal computers and smart phones that help us do this.

We can take the time to + V1    (make a special effort to)

If our company hires a new worker, it would be kind of us to take the time to introduce ourselves and show him/her around.

We can have a good/great or bad/terrible time + V –ing    (enjoy/not enjoy)

I always have a great time going to the ocean, but I usually have a terrible time doing my taxes.

Coins and ClockWe can be on time or do (…) in a timely way.    (not late)

In the U.S., we should always try to be on time.  If we are given a deadline, we should complete our work in a timely way.  For us, time is money.

And finally, as in the title of this blog, we can find ourselves in a time crunch, which means we are short on time, under pressure from a deadline, or in a hurry to finish something.

He couldn’t finish the report because he was in a time crunch.  He had too much to do and not a enough time in which to get it all done.

I’m glad you are not in such a time crunch and you could take the time to read this post.  Hope you are glad you spent time learning about common English idioms and expressions.

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