12 English Idioms Related To Time

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  • Post last modified:22/07/2021
  • Post category:English Idioms
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Learn 12 English idioms related to time. These popular idioms are widely used by native English speakers. 

Master your time idioms, start using them in your conversations and dramatically improve your English speaking skills.

Table of Contents

12 English idioms related to time

Hi there, this is Harry and welcome back to my English lessons. Here I help you to improve your English, so you can have better conversations with your workmates, your family and friends, or even penpals. What are we going to talk about today?

We’re going to talk about idioms and idioms connected with time.

You can listen to this lesson on my English learning podcast Speak Better English and you can also watch it on my YouTube channel Learn English with Harry. Please remember to subscribe. 

Okay, let’s go through these idioms one by one.

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The first one is

a stitch in time (saves nine)

Meaning: if we repair something quickly, as soon as we notice it, it will save us having to make a bigger repair

Example: 

We must take action now and do everything we can. A stitch in time saves nine.

Meaning: we shouldn’t delay something until it’s too late to deal with it, we should do it when we see it happening, or we notice it; it will save us a lot of work later on

Example:

I noticed that my laptop was very slow, so I replaced the hard drive. If I hadn’t replaced it, my laptop would have crashed. A stitch in time saves nine.

all in good time

Meaning: usually we use this expression when somebody’s trying to push us or hurry us to do something

Example:

👩 Come on, come on, I need to get this done. I have to get this ready. 

👨🏻‍🦰 All in good time. Just wait and be patient.

Example:

The first thing I’m going to do is to send out the invitations. Then I’ll arrange the venue. When that’s done, we can start working on the presentation. So all in good time.

at the drop of a hat

Meaning: when we say we’ll do something at the drop of a hat, we will do something very quickly, without having to be asked; you don’t think twice 

Examples:

He decided to join them for a beer at the drop of a hat.

When his friends invited him for a beach holiday, he was gone at the drop of a hat.

12 English idioms related to time

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before your time

Meaning: something happened well before you were born or before you were around

Example:

I was on a wonderful road trip to Scotland in the 1980s; this was well before your time. 

for good

Meaning: forever, permanently, it’s not going to change in the future

Example:

👩🏻‍🦰 Is he going to be back in a few months?

👱🏻 No, no, he is moving for good. He’s quit his job, sold his house and has packed everything in the boxes.

He decided to quit his job for good and handed in his resignation.

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for the time being

Meaning: for now, it could change (and it possibly will change)

Example:

I’m getting my apartment redecorated. For the time being, I’m going to move in with my sister; she’s got a spare room.

from time to time

Meaning: occasionally, we don’t do it every day 

Examples:

From time to time, I like to take a long weekend. Those extra days can make a big difference.

From time to time, I change my habit and buy my groceries in a different supermarket.

12 English idioms related to time

in/for donkey’s years

Meaning: a long long time

Examples:

I haven’t heard from him for donkey’s ears; I wonder how he is doing. 

I haven’t been to the city centre for donkey’s ears, look at these tall high-rise buildings.

in the nick of time

Meaning: sufficient time left or remaining to prevent something bad or disaster from happening

Examples:

In the nick of time, I was able to cut off the water before the whole house flooded.

The lifeguards rescued him just in the nick of time.

He took the first bus and got to his appointment in the nick of time.

12 English idioms related to time

12 English idioms related to time. Online English lessons on Zoom and Skype. Advanced English learning. Online Zoom English lessons at www.englishlessonviaskype.com

once in a blue moon

Meaning: very rarely

Examples:

Salary rise in this company? You must be joking! Once in a blue moon.

My football team wins a match once in a blue moon; most of the time they’re losing.

on the spur of the moment

Meaning: on impulse, without taking time to think it through properly

Examples:

I went to see my grandmother on the spur of the moment. I haven’t seen her for a while.

We decided to go on a holiday on the spur of the moment.

12 English idioms related to time

the other day

Meaning: recently; the day before, or a few days before

Examples:

The other day I bumped into our old school friend. Remember that guy who used to play football with us?

Just the other day, I was talking to Michael about that very same thing!

So here are my English idioms related to time. Let me give them to you one more time:

  • a stitch in time (saves nine)
  • all in good time
  • at the drop of a hat
  • before your time
  • for good
  • for the time being
  • from time to time
  • in/for donkey’s years
  • in the nick of time
  • once in a blue moon
  • on the spur of the moment
  • the other day

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More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

How to AGREE and DISAGREE in English

20 English collocations with BREAK

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