Podcast

Episode 46 • Time

46

In time

A waste of time

Run out of time

Time's up

On time

Story

Luke: [Ticking] Gosh… we don’t have much time left, Julie.
Julie: Stop it, Luke. Don’t say that, you’re making me even more nervous…
Luke: We’re never going to make it in time!
Julie: Shut up, Luke! I’m trying to concentrate!
Luke: It’s a waste of time, Julie… We’re never going to make it anyway. Oh no, no, no… We’re running out of time! [Faster ticking] No, no, NO, NO!

[Bell rings]

Professor: And… time’s up! Give me the test, guys!
Luke: Ugh, great, Julie. Thanks… Next time I won’t be sitting next to you! Oh, but Professor, I haven’t finished my test!
Professor: Maybe… if you had showed up on time for class today… you would’ve had time to finish it, also you were talking to Julie the whole time so you both get an F!
(Both): What?!

Questions

Okay, ready for this week's expressions?

In time

'We’re never going to make it in time!'

Today, we’re going to look at the difference between in time and on time, which is one of the hardest things to explain when teaching English, I promise.

• If you finish something in time, do you finish it before or after the deadline?

If you finish it in time, you finish it before, so good.

• Can you be late but be in time?

Careful about this one. Can you be late, but in time? Yes, you can be late and be in time. What? Yes. Hold on. Look--

• Imagine a movie is supposed to start at eight and you arrive at 8:05, so five minutes later than you were supposed to, but the movie hasn't started yet. Did you arrive in time or you arrived late because you arrived at 8:05 and you were supposed to be there at 8:00, but the movie hasn't started yet?

You arrived in time for the movie before the movie started. Hope that you're starting to see the difference here.

• Do you remember a time when you thought you were going to be late late but then you arrived in time?

Yes, I'm usually on time, but I remember this one time. It was my final exam at university and it was like a special exam that had been scheduled just for me because I had not attended the last year but I still studied on my own. My friends from university, they had all taken the test at school, but this was something extra that I had to do. It was super important because if I hadn't passed it, I would have not graduated, so a pretty big deal. Anyway, I decided not to take the train for some reason. I wanted my boyfriend at the time to go with me. We get in the car and we take the highway. We were like, usually, it would take 30, 40 minutes. We get stuck in the worst traffic jam of all times. It's like we're not even moving. I am panicking. I call the school. I tell them to please let the teachers, the professors know that I am going. The whole time I'm super nervous and I'm mortified. I feel so bad for the teachers there waiting just for me. I'm also thinking like, "Okay, they're going to be mad when I get there. They're going to think I've been disrespectful and they're not going to let me pass." I was just so, so nervous. Then finally I got there. I was late, but they still let me do it, so, I guess, I got there in time. I passed it by the way, and I graduated, yay.

A waste of time

'It’s a waste of time, Julie.'

• If something is a waste of time, is it considered a useful activity or useless?

If something is a waste of time, it's considered a useless activity.

• Is there something you have to do that you consider to be a waste of time?

There's something that I don't do well because I think it's a waste of time, and that is ironing. I don't know if you guys iron. Yes, I don't iron my clothes because I think it's a waste of time because they look fine. Sure, they might be a little wrinkly, but it's not a big deal.

Run out of time

'We’re running out of time!'

• If are doing something but you are running out of time, do you still have time to complete what you are doing?

Yes. You're running out of time, but you still have a little bit of time to finish what you're doing.

• How much?

Not much. If you're running out of time, you really have little time left.

• If you’re taking a test and you’re running out of time, how do you feel?

Well, I think everybody feels super nervous. You still got a few questions to go. Luckily, I haven't taken many tests lately, but it's a very stressful experience to run out of time during a test.

Time’s up

'And... time’s up!'

• If someone says “time’s up” do you have any time left?

Well, I think everybody feels super nervous. You still got a few questions to go. Luckily, I haven't taken many tests lately, but it's a very stressful experience to run out of time during a test.

• Where is it unlikely to hear the expression “time’s up”? At school, at work or during a game show?

I think it would be at work because at school you're taking a test and the teacher could say, "Hey, time's up. Give me your test." Just like in the story. During a game show, you got 30 seconds to answer the question, and time's up. Give me your answers, so very possible. At work, I don't think your boss is going to come up to your desk. I mean, they could, but it would be rude and weird.

On time

'Maybe... if you had showed up on time for class today...'

• If you arrive at a place on time, do you arrive at the time you were supposed to or not?

Yes, you arrive wherever you have to get to on time, you got there at the time you were supposed to.

• Can you be late but be on time?

Well, no. That's the thing. If you're late, you're not on time. They're antonyms. They are the opposite of each other. That's the big difference between being in time and being on time. In time has got little to do with if you're late or not, but on time, it's got a lot to do because it's literally the opposite. Let's go back to the movie example.

• If the movie starts at 8 and you arrive at 8.05, did you arrive on time?

No. Even if the movie starts 15 minutes later, if you were supposed to arrive at eight and you arrive at 8:05, you did not arrive on time.

• Are you usually on time? And what do you think of the people who are often not on time?

I'm usually on time, but one of my exes actually had a big problem with being on time and he was usually late. We're talking like 30 minutes to an hour late. Pretty bad. It is not five minutes because five minutes I'll accept. I think anything that's more than 10, 15 minutes, then I start to get just a little annoyed, like, "Hey, you're wasting my time here." Unless there's a problem. Even if you do tell me, I still have to sit around for 15, 20 minutes and wait for you. Yes, I'm not a fan of people who are not on time.

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