What's the difference between “delay in” and “delay of”? I have seen many examples of both, but I can't guess the difference.

  • Can you give some examples?
    – phenry
    Feb 6, 2015 at 19:20
  • It's just a generic question.
    – Ignacio
    Feb 6, 2015 at 21:27
  • I would understand if this question were flagged as a far too simple one, but I'm not able to see what is unclear about it. I believe it's almost identical to this one: english.stackexchange.com/questions/61600/… which was granted with 14 points. It looks like I'm not able to understand the proper way of asking questions so, I will refrain from asking and will continue using this site to consult the excellent an useful information in the already asked ones. Sorry for the inconvenience.
    – Ignacio
    Feb 8, 2015 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


"Delay of" seems to be a time-based delay ("Delay of five seconds"), whereas "Delay in" refers to objects that are delayed "A delay in the delivery of new mobile phones".

I think you cannot say "there was a delay in five seconds", or "There was a delay of the delivery of mobile phones".

  • Thanks a lot. A search in CORPUS OF GLOBAL WEB-BASED ENGLISH (GloWbE) rendered results that are consistent with your answer: "delay of" collocated within 3 words with "seconds|minutes|hours|days|weeks|months|years" after it, rendered 243 hits. With "delay in" it rendered just 6 hits. "delay of" collocated within 3 words with "delivery|arrival|payment|flight|service" after it, rendered 36 hits. With "delay in" it rendered 353 hits.
    – Ignacio
    Feb 6, 2015 at 21:20
  • Nice to know! Also like your statistical approach towards figuring it out.
    – lennyklb
    Feb 6, 2015 at 22:49

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