Topics related to time in written or spoken English

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1answer
435 views

I knew it already 20 yrs ago vs I knew it as early as 20 yrs ago

I know that "already" is mainly used with present perfect. I want to emphasise that something was known 20 years ago. Are the following the same? I knew it already 20 yrs ago I knew it as early ...
5
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3answers
15k views

“In the next two weeks” vs. “next two weeks”

Which one of the following is correct if the writer intends to say a week after next week? My friend and I decided to go to the beach in the next two weeks. My friend and I decided to go to ...
3
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2answers
502 views

Time: Move “backwards” or “forwards”

Let us pay attention to the terms back and forward in the quote below. On the 4th of June they had the drill for independence day. But if you go back further you'd find that around mid-May, they ...
2
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1answer
91 views

Can I refer to a period of more than 24 hours as “my day”?

Can I use "my day" to refer to a period of more than 24 hours? Let's say I worked non-stop for 30 hours, could I refer to this period as "my day"? From a dictionary, the only two usages I was able to ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Using 'few months back' and 'few months ago'

While I have grown up knowing that 'ago' is the word of choice while referring to an earlier timeline.now I have become quite confused with the regular use of 'back' in its place. Many say that 'ago' ...
3
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6answers
268 views

How can I refer to a period of day when people are awake/active?

The context is comparing air travel vs overnight train travel. In this case, air travel takes 1 hour, plus time required to travel from city to airport, arrive early for check-in & security, then ...
0
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2answers
215 views

Past perfect/simple question in an example

Talking about the trip I did a few years ago: I have been there and it was amazing. I had not seen a frozen sea until that time! Did I use past perfect correctly or should I just say "I did not ...
2
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3answers
477 views

What are valid time-periods that can be used in the phrase “the other ________”?

"the other day" is a pretty standard and understood phrase. It usually translates to "on a recent day". So you could say "I was talking to Rachel the other day..." which would mean "I was talking to ...
2
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3answers
903 views

Is it ever correct to use “end” after the name of a month?

I’ve heard some people say things like September end or June end when I’m used to hearing the end of September or the end of June. Is the former usage (meaning, the “something end” collocation) ...
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1answer
1k views

Is the following idiomatic English: “At what time do you go to sleep?”

I once asked some English people the following question: "At what time do you go to sleep?" They gave me a blank stare. You see, I tried to avoid the standard expression "At what time do you go to ...
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5answers
23k views

What does 'ten of six' mean in regard to time?

I am referring of course to the expression describing time. Today a corporate trainer (From north Philadelphia) that is teaching a class at my company used it in the context that the current time was ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

applying modern standards / morals to a past era

Is there a word for "applying modern standards / morals to a past era"? Something like "anachronism" but not quite. An example of this would be to criticize a public figure from centuries ago for ...
0
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2answers
191 views

Not shifting the adverbial of time in reported speech

I know that generally, in reported speech e.g. tomorrow shifts to "the following day". But I also know that in some cases it can remain, e.g: He said he would do that tomorrow. That one should ...
3
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4answers
458 views

Describing event with “greatest” date value

I'm struggling with a way to describe one of a series of datetime values that has the greatest value. My first thought would be to call it the "latest", but the suggests that the event is in the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

'have been' vs. 'went' with time words

Sometimes I see the following in ESL learners' writing: I have been to America two years ago. Am I correct in saying that it should be: I have been to America. I went to America two ...
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9answers
6k views

Alternatives to “Good Night” when sleeping in the afternoon

It seems to be a silly question but I was puzzled when somebody bid me good night, when I was going to sleep at 1:00 PM. If somebody goes to sleep in the afternoon, is it correct to bid him "good ...
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votes
1answer
257 views

Using prepositions with time

Which is the correct preposition? "at evening", "on evening", or "in the evening". Is this correct-"He mailed me (on evening / in the evening / at evening)"? How are prepositions used with time?
3
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5answers
2k views

The ambiguous “until”

As a non-native English speaker, It seems to me that the word "until" is quite ambiguous. It's been told that when it's used with a date it includes the date. (Does "until [date]" mean ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

“Thence” to allude to the past

I see that "hence" means roughly "from this fact/time/place/source", while "thence" means roughly "from that fact/time/place/source". Usage such as "half an hour hence" is typically (although perhaps ...
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1answer
663 views

In the past 2 years [duplicate]

We are now at year 2013. What does it mean by saying in the past 2 years?Whats the period it refering to?
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2answers
401 views

will be repaired in x weeks' time: how precise/vague is it? [closed]

(I have completely rewritten the question in an attempt to make it clearer) In a certain British English exam, you are given a statement, and must then go through three sentences and choose the one ...
0
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1answer
425 views

Present Perfect after “before”

I've been watching a TV show recently and in one of the episodes the following is being said: I don't want half my army killed before I've crossed the Narrow Sea. In the second part of the ...
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2answers
4k views

How did “next day” come to mean “day of next week”?

This question touched on the confusion of the common usage of "next Tuesday" to really mean "Tuesday of next week", as opposed to the "soonest upcoming Tuesday". When one considers the actual ...
19
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1answer
71k views

What is the proper name for “AM” and “PM”?

I know that AM/PM is for ante/post meridiem, but what is it actually called? Meridian indicator? 12 hour indicator? Something way more clever?
5
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2answers
807 views

Why are the notes or protocol of a meeting referred to as its 'minutes'?

A minute is 60 seconds. Something 'minute' is small, minor, perhaps short. Now, what about the minutes of a meeting or a session? As in, its written protocol? Are they called that because: The ...
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1answer
77 views

make question for periodic event

I like to make question about the happening of some events whether it is happened every day or every week or every month...etc how can i make question? this is my try: Does this event happen every ...
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2answers
381 views

Drink 7 to 10 days after opening?

Is this label telling the consumer that it is best to consume the drink 7 to 10 days after opening it? I know what they are getting at, but I feel like it should say "Best if consumed within 7 to ...
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1answer
281 views

How to say years period [closed]

I have trouble with a phrase: Potential investors study were carried out for the period 2008 - 2012. This should mean that I've analyzed a documents published between 2008 and 2012. Is this the ...
3
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10answers
8k views

Is there a generic word in English that means “through time”?

I know "temporal" means "to do with time", but I'm looking specifically for a term that means "spanning time" or "over time". Not necessarily all time, as "eternal" would mean, nor do I want to ...
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5answers
3k views

Can I use “as late as” to express a deadline?

You must submit your homework as late as tomorrow. Does the sentence have the same meaning as the following one? The deadline for your homework submission is tomorrow. To be specific, I ...
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1answer
1k views

Do you say “thirty past six”?

When telling the time, are the following expressions legal or natural to native speakers: e.g.: 1. It's thirty past six (without adding "minutes"). 2. It's half an hour past six (adding "an hour"). ...
0
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2answers
863 views

Is there a word for start and end of a time period? [closed]

Is there a word used to describe the extremities of an arbitrary time period? The word "weekend" refers to the end of a week, but it's limited to the week and it only describes the end, but not the ...
0
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3answers
224 views

Conventions for dates spoken without year

Today is April 4th, 2013. What is meant when someone says "May 1st"? I would assume its May 1, 2013. And "last May 1st" as May 1, 2012. As for "next May 1st", I would assume "next" is a redundancy ...
2
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1answer
18k views

Is there a one-word English term for the day after tomorrow? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How obsolete is the word “overmorrow”? Is there a one-word English term for the day after tomorrow? Perhaps a term that has fallen out of modern English ...
1
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2answers
987 views

Correct usage of adjectives related to amounts of time

What are the correct adjectives to use when talking about amounts of time (when one needs to quantify an amount of time)? In particular, which one of the two: little / small big / large For example: ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you say “within 90 days after”?

I understand that you can say, "within 30 days of receiving your application", but I am seeing more and more "within 30 days after your application is received". Is the latter grammatical?
6
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1answer
1k views

“In 15 minutes” or “15 minutes later”?

Several years ago, when I was watching a show, it was 15:45 and the show started at 16:00. A foreigner asked me: "When will this show start?" My English is not good, and I never talked to foreigners. ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Is “in [some period]” different from “within [some period]”?

Q1: "I'll finish this job within 5 days" definitely means the job is expected to cost 5 days or less. However, does "I'll finish this job in 5 days" mean exactly the same? Q2: Can we say, "I'll ...
14
votes
4answers
40k views

How should “midnight on…” be interpreted?

From what I understand, the word "midnight" is usually interpreted incorrectly. Midnight is written as "12am" which would imply that it's in the morning. Therefore, it should be at the start of the ...
0
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5answers
2k views

Is it correct to say “it is forty-five past nine”?

I had a quiz and I failed because I wrote that 9.45 was "forty-five past nine" instead of "quarter to ten". I think it should have been accepted by my teacher. I searched the Internet and I found the ...
14
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5answers
2k views

The difference between “take” and “last”

We say: "the meeting will last two hours". But we say: "how long does the flight take?" Please let me know the difference between last and take and when we should use each.
6
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3answers
21k views

“In the last 3 months” vs “in the past 3 months”

What's the difference between in the last 3 months and in the past 3 months if there is any?
0
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0answers
71 views

What is a “nice” word to express the time during 25 to 27 or 8? [duplicate]

I am trying to find a nice word that expresses the time after midnight and before morning. Within my poor research, I could find such as "overnight", "late night", "wee hours", "dawn", etc. I think ...
0
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1answer
444 views

What is this time describing noun called? [duplicate]

A noun for when something happened is occasion. A noun for how long something took is duration. But how would you describe an event that happened at a certain time after an occasion? Example: The ...
2
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2answers
3k views

Terms for “half a decade”

Is "lustrum" (pl. lustra) an understandable (say, at least in academic publications) or valid/common term for a five year span, e.g. to use in a table summarizing data where space can be very ...
2
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5answers
7k views

What is an appropriate greeting to use at night time? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Good night” or “good evening”? I am in the process of creating a software application which displays a greeting to users based on the time of day. I have come to a ...
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3answers
2k views

Has the use of the idiom “last week” surpassed the use of the correct “yester-week”?

In his book Write It Right, which was published in 1909 -– a hundred years ago -- Ambrose Bierce disagreed with the usage of the words “Last” and “Past” with “week”. He explained : Last and Past. ...
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1answer
4k views

Is “even when” a conjunction?

Does even when grammatically work the same as even though and even if work? Or is it more of a time expression? Following the rules is essential, even when it’s difficult. Following the rules is ...
2
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0answers
90 views

Is “do something by date X” inclusive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does “notified by [date]” include the end date? For example, if John says: Return it to me by March 24th. Does it mean that I need to return it to ...
1
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0answers
59 views

“Please finish this by May 15” — can I still do it today? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Does “notified by [date]” include the end date? Today is May 15. I have an email in my inbox that says Please respond by May 15. My question is: what ...