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I have seen games using both forms time's up and time up to say that the time is up. Which is correct?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

They both mean the time is up, that is, the time allotted for this activity has expired. Time's up is a contracted form, and time up is an ellipted form. Which you use depends on context.

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4  
I have never heard time up in my life, only time’s up. –  tchrist Oct 15 '12 at 17:56
    
@tchrist: But the OP has, or at least seen it. –  Barrie England Oct 15 '12 at 18:01
1  
@tchrist Check my comment above, the Bejeweled game uses it on speed mode. –  BernardGra Oct 15 '12 at 18:03
    
@J.R., It is the same usage, you you play till the end of the 1 minute match, the Time Up comes on the screen, indicating that time has expired. –  BernardGra Oct 15 '12 at 18:35

I think "time's up" is correct. It's a contraction for "time is up" (obviously). "Time up" seems to have no verb. It's just a noun and a preposition. Perhaps games that use "time up" are made in non-English-speaking countries. Foreign games often have slight missteps in colloquialisms.

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"Time out" is common enough in the United States, where sports need breaks for advertising –  Henry Oct 15 '12 at 17:55
    
The bejeweled uses Time up, when playing speed mode. Here is a Link: bejeweled.popcap.com/html5/0.9.12.9490/html5/Bejeweled.html –  BernardGra Oct 15 '12 at 17:59
    
@Henry: except that "Time out" is an entirely different construction. There's no implied 'is':'Time is out' would not make sense/would mean something completely different. –  Marthaª Oct 15 '12 at 19:55

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