'Time' is

'the system of recording hours used in different parts of the world'

and is uncountable, says the Cambridge Dictionary Online.

definition of 'time' in the Cambridge Dictionary Online


Should it be

'Switzerland and the UK have different time.'

then, or rather

'Switzerland and the UK have different times.'

, which sounds more correct… ?

  • 1
    I can't count the number of times that a dictionary definition was incompletely or inaccurately stated. Apr 4, 2017 at 17:36
  • Switzerland and the UK are in different time zones. (As Ricky suggests.) Of course, in earlier times each city had it's own time reference, unrelated to others.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 4, 2017 at 18:05
  • This usage of time (always with some kind of modifier before it, like Greenwich Mean Time and daylight saving time in the dictionary examples) is indeed pretty much always singular. I’m not sure I quite agree that it’s uncountable as such, but it requires a very contrived context to be pluralised. Your example is not such an example, since time(s) would not be used at all in idiomatic English there: time zones would. But you could make one up: “Yesterday I was on London time; two hours ago I was on Beijing time; now I’m on NZ time. All these… times are messing with my head!” Apr 4, 2017 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Time is a property of space.

The standard way of pointing out the difference would be

Switzerland and the U.K. are in different time zones.

The informal way of explaining why Kevin and Linda look a bit groggy would be

They're still on Swiss time. Give them a a day or two to adjust.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.