3

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 '17 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 '17 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 '17 at 3:06
  • A good way to avoid the awkwardness is to say, “you’re wasting both your own time and mine.“ – G Tony Jacobs Sep 30 '17 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 '17 at 5:23
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."

| improve this answer | |
1

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/

| improve this answer | |
0

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.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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