My parents were watching a TV show (the show is Arrow, I believe) and in the show, one of the characters said something along the lines of "you're wasting both of our times." They came out to me and asked me if I thought it should be the "time" or "times," because neither of them were quite sure what it should be. I wasn't sure either, but I thought "times" seemed a bit more correct.

What is the proper word here?

  • 1
    It is an awkward idiom either way, but "times" comes closer to being "correct'.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 30, 2017 at 2:18
  • 2
    I'd say "both of our time", reasoning that there is just one span of time involved, which belongs jointly to both of us, and which you are wasting.
    – Greg Lee
    Sep 30, 2017 at 2:29
  • 1
    I would say "time", as well. "You're wasting our time", "You're wasting both of our time". I don't see why "time" should be pluralised based on the addition of a couple words.
    – Matt S.
    Sep 30, 2017 at 3:06
  • A good way to avoid the awkwardness is to say, “you’re wasting both your own time and mine.“ Sep 30, 2017 at 3:31
  • @GregLee - He drank both of our milk?? I think that while the two times might be concurrent, they are two separate times to be wasted or spent separately.
    – Jim
    Sep 30, 2017 at 5:23

3 Answers 3


As others have commented, the expression wasted both of our time/s is very awkward, whether "time" is made plural or not.

It would have been far preferable to have said,"you're wasting our time."


I also believe that "time" is the correct choice. It is not a "count noun" that could be pluralized, as the word "chairs" in "You have broken both of our chairs." "Times" is a conventional word, however, in certain expressions, as in "These are good times." In that sense, "times" can be thought of as a count noun as in "These are good days" "Or those were favorable periods [of time]." But in your question, I would think of "time" as I would think of the word "money." One could say "You're wasting both of our dollars" (for example, if each person had a dollar bill and each thought that you were spending them on something frivolous), but one would not say "You're wasting both of our monies." (Though, again, there are certain contexts in which "monies" would be correct.) But as the character did not specify that the other was wasting something countable, like "hours," then the choice should have been "time," and I would have said it as "You're wasting both our time." See https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/owlprint/541/


I agree with @Livrecache “You’re wasting our time” is the correct way to say it. However, it’s not as punchy as “You’re wasting both of our times”, where “both” is the key word. It compromises on correctness but has more dramatic effect.

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