In Proceedings By Catherine

Time flies! Speaking of time in the English language

It is said that time is eternal. It has no beginning and no end. Nevertheless mankind measures its defined segments (periods of time). Let’s look at them:

Period of time Example Translation Meaning Translation
millennium * San Francisco streets were full of people celebrating the millennium. On the streets of San Francisco has been a lot of people celebrated the new millennium. 1000 years millennium
century William Faulkner is a famous American writer of the 20th century. William Faulkner is a famous American writer of the 20th century. 100 years century century
decade ** Life has changed significantly in the last decade. Life has changed considerably in the last decade. 10 years decade
era A post-war era was marked by rapid recovery and development of all industries. The postwar period was marked by a rapid recovery and development of all industries. A particular period of time marked by special events era, the era
phase Do not worry about Ann. She is a teenager and I’m sure it’s just a phase. Do not worry for Anne. She’s a teenager, and I’m sure it’s just a phase. A special part of a process or a particular period during the development of something stage during phase
life Life is great! Life is Beautiful! A period of time between birth until death life

* The word millennium Latin origin, is an exception and plural forms in a special way (sg. Millennium — pl. Millennia).
** Please note that in contrast to the Russian language, where the word of the decade is 10 days, the English word decade means 10 years.

If we talk about the phase (phase) as a moment or a particular stage (stage) of a number of events (series of events), it can be the starting (initial), intermediate (intermediate) or final (final).

We often describe the order of events without a specific time or date. What do we use in this case? We say «current», «next», «next». To do this in English, the following adjectives or adverbs:

Adjective Translation Sample sentences
approaching fast approaching approaching wedding
(approaching wedding)
awaited expected long-awaited reply
(long-awaited answer)
concurrent Simultaneously, the matching concurrent views
(concurring opinion)
current current current year
(this year)
eventual final eventual result
(the final result)
forthcoming upcoming forthcoming meeting
(forthcoming meeting)
ongoing occurring ongoing support
(continuous use)
simultaneous simultaneous, synchronous simultaneous broadcast
(simultaneous translation)
subsequent subsequent subsequent step
(next step)
successive Serial alternately successive years
(years in a row)
temporary temporary temporary position
(temporary position)
transitional intermediate, transitional Transitional National Government
(Transitional National Government)

Time flies, and what happened yesterday, will not be repeated today and tomorrow has not come yet. What are the phrases we use when describing past events and talking about the future? I propose to enrich your vocabulary by the following expressions:

Description of past events Description Current Events Description of future events
In recent times — the last time Nowadays — now In the near future — in the near future
Prior to — before before At the moment — today In the foreseeable future — in the foreseeable future
Formerly — previously, once Presently — today, now! At a future date — in the future
Previously — in advance, in the past, Right now — right now In the distant future — in the distant future

I propose to consider the idioms with the word time at the example of the story of a student who was trying to learn English:

He began to study English silently with books. It felt right at the time. — He began to learn English from books in silence. At that moment, it seemed right to him.

He remembered that at one time his father learnt English in the same way — he remembered that once his father taught English in the same way.

He did not know that the way he was studying English was far behind the times. — He did not know that the way he teaches English, much outdated.

At times he needed help but there was nobody to assist him. — Sometimes he needed help, but there was no one to help him.

He was pressed for time because he was going to the conference to London in two months and he was studying English and preparing for the conference at the same time. — Time is running out, because he was going to go to a conference in London in two months, and he was teaching English and preparing for the conference at the same time.

He came back to the same unclear grammar explanations time after time. — He came back to the same obscure grammar explanations over and over again.

After a week of study, he met his college mate Mary, who was eager to help him with English for old time’s sake (as he helped her a lot with Maths during college years) but everything was useless — Mary forgot English! — After a week of study, he met a classmate Mary, who really wanted to help him with the English old friend (he’s great help Mary with mathematics while studying at the college), but to no avail — Mary forgotten English!

Once he met his fried who told him that it was about time to find an English-speaking teacher. — One day he met a friend who said that it’s time to find an English-speaking teacher.

He made ​​the appointment and met his new teacher on time. — He set up a meeting, and at the appointed time to meet with the new teacher.

He explained to his teacher that he did not have bags of time. — He told the teacher that he does not have plenty of time.

He succeeded to learn the language in no time. — He was able to learn the language as soon as possible.

He packed his luggage and successfully departed to London in the nick of time. — He put the luggage and successfully went to London at the last minute.

Later, after coming back from London, he told his father that all was in good time and silent learning of English with books was popular for the time being. — Later, on his return from London, he told his father that all the time, and the study of English silence was popular in his day.

If he had not found a teacher in time, he would not have learnt English in two months. — If he had not found time teacher, he would not have learned English for two months.

Below is a list of idioms that are used in the text:

phrase translation
at the time at that moment
for the time being now (if the action relate to the present), if used with the past tense, meaning «at the moment»
at times at times, at times, not infrequently
in time on time, on time
on time in the agreed time
pressed for time time to spare, time is running out
behind the times obsolete
before time ahead of schedule
at the same time at the same time
bags of time train time
in no time immediately, as soon as possible
all in good time all in good time
in the nick of time at the last moment
time after time over and over again, many times
about time too It is high time
for old time’s sake of good memory

I want to draw your attention to the phrase in time / on time, the use of which sometimes causes difficulties.

On time (at the scheduled time, neither earlier nor later):

General Director wants the conference to start on time. — The Director-General wishes to conference started on time. (t. e. on schedule, without delays)

In time (in a timely manner, at the time):

He would have died if the ambulance had not arrived in time — he would have died if the ambulance has not arrived on time.

On the methods of expression of time and time management you can read in the articles of our blog.



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