All the two phrases, "in time of" and " in times of" are in use on the Internet. But I can not distinguish between them correctly. Here are some examples I have come across:

  1. How did Hawkwood make money in times of peace? New Concept English, Vol 3, Lesson 14.

  2. A Prayer In Time of Trouble, www.iocc.org/pdffiles/prayeradslick.pdf.

Can anyone tell me the differences between the two phrases?

  • 1
    There's not really any difference. If you're talking about something you know (or expect) to occur quite often, you might be inclined to use plural times. If it's something you know (or hope) will happen rarely if ever, you might well consider singular time more appropriate. – FumbleFingers Jul 24 '13 at 2:16

The difference is (I think) simply whether more than one time is being referred to.

In your first example, Hawkwood lived through more than one "time of peace" (more than period between wars) and found a ways to make money in all of those times.

In your second example, the reference is to one time (although an indefinite one). An extended version of the same title could read, "A Prayer Suited To Any Particular Time of Trouble." This communicates the same idea, although with more words and less poetic style.

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I suspect "in time of" is just older grammar, not modern English. I've only ever heard it in the form of "in a time of" or "in times of" in modern literature. Searching in Google for the phrase gives references to "in time of" being in older literature, or obvious typos. That link you have is from an old prayer book.

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  • at least tell me why you disagree? sheesh. – Fuzzy Analysis Jul 24 '13 at 2:36

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