By which word can I refer to the gap between two dates?

Say, how can I better form the sentence below?

She reduced the gap between the dates of taking tests. She used to take it one month and the other, now she takes it after every 15 days.

What should be the best fir for gap here? How can I make the sentence better and smaller?

  • Firstly, gap is an excellent choice that conveys the meaning correctly and adequately; so what's the problem really? interval; spacing could be some alternatives. On the other hand, If the intention is to replace the whole phrase "gap between the dates of" with a single word, it may be difficult; but in any case, please clarify in your question.
    – Kris
    Mar 20, 2015 at 7:22
  • @Kris, thanks for your concern, I used to use the word "gap" in similar type of sentences.. But as not being a native English speaker I have some doubts in some cases. So, I wanted to be sure about the word which will be best fit for this type of sentences. I was thinking if there are any word that can be better fit than gap which will make the meaning more clear. I'm just trying to use the right word to the right place.
    – Nadia Ali
    Mar 20, 2015 at 8:18
  • In my opinion "interval" is the best term. "Time interval" is a set phrase and can be used to refer to any span of time, so the word is well-understood in this context. And "interval" is the preferred term for the amount of time between two events in technical writing. "Duration", on the other hand, implies the length of a single event.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 20, 2015 at 11:39
  • I think lapse also suitable, but it has more meaning including interval. So, which one is better to use, lapse or interval?
    – Nadia Ali
    Mar 22, 2015 at 7:22
  • It is better to say a lapse of time", just lapse by itself doesn't mean a a period of time. E.g. There was a very considerable lapse of time between the initial offences and trial causing difficulty for prosecution and defence.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 22, 2015 at 8:49

2 Answers 2


She reduced the gap between the dates of taking tests. She used to take it one month and the other, now she takes it after every 15 days.

If this has become a regular occurrence, the OP could simply shorten the sentence above to

She now takes tests/sits exams every two weeks (OR) every fifteen days
She (now) sits tests once a fortnight.

For an alternative way to express: "to reduce the gap between two dates" I would suggest interval and shorten

She has shortened the interval between her tests. She used to take them once a month but now it's every 15 days

Merriam-Webster defines shorten and interval

1. to reduce the length or duration of

1. a space of time between events or states

  • Interval has been suggested a couple of hours ago. Please see the comment at OP.
    – Kris
    Mar 20, 2015 at 11:12
  • @Kris - But until you make it an answer it's not official. And you did not provide a definition. ("Interval", BTW, is the most appropriate single word here.)
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 20, 2015 at 11:41
  • @HotLicks I did not say that was an answer. Gap was more than adequate. The OP needed to clarify what was wrong with gap. I would myself use gap, not interval in the sentence, because I am aware that the usage of gap differs from that of interval.
    – Kris
    Mar 20, 2015 at 11:50
  • @Kris - But you apparently object that Mari-Lou is of a different opinion.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 20, 2015 at 12:00
  • 3
    @Kris - But you don't. You somehow feel that your brief comment dismissing "interval" as an appropriate answer somehow should prohibit anyone else from suggesting that it's a valid answer. That is patent nonsense. You do not have a copyright on "interval".
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 20, 2015 at 16:54

Let me improve the title of your question to

What word should I use to refer to the gap between two dates.


She reduced the duration between the dates of her sitting for the two exams.

Time span.

She reduced the time span between the dates of her sitting for the two tests.

du•ra•tion (dʊˈreɪ ʃən, dyʊ-)

  1. the length of time something continues or exists.
  2. continuance in time.

[1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin dūrātiō; see durable, -tion] du•ra`tion•al, adj.

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

  • 2
    Both duration and time span are useful when referring to the presence of something, not the absence of something or the break between two events.
    – Kris
    Mar 20, 2015 at 7:24
  • @BrianHitchcock I was writing my answer when you suggested "interval"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 20, 2015 at 10:53
  • 2
    "Duration" refers to how long something lasts; "duration between" is somewhat of an oxymoron. "Time span" is less bad than "duration" but still reads awkwardly here.
    – Hellion
    Mar 20, 2015 at 14:59

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