When I write short stories, I often use the phrase "As time passed" to start a sentence. The topics I'm covering in the story do not happen one right after the other, so I use the phrase to show continuity in time...I guess. E.g. "Bob graduated from college and met Daisy at work. As time passed, Bob and Daisy started dating." In this example, it could have been two years between Bob meeting Daisy and Bob starting to date Daisy, hence, why I use "As time passed."

I was wondering if anybody knew of other words/phrases that can be used to achieve the same objective because I do not like to use "As time passed" multiple times in a story.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

P.s. Please forgive anything I butchered when writing this question, as language/grammar has never been my strong suit.


  • 'In time' is a synonym, but is highly polysemic, and even the appropriate sense carries more than a hint of 'at long last'. 'As time passed' seems the ideal choice here, and, unless 'as the years went by' or 'over the next few months' etc fit, I'd stick with it. Jan 17, 2018 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


As time passed.. could be 'over time' as in

'over time, Bob and Daisy got to know each other...'

How about being more specific but evoking time passing in your writing - like 'during the Fall Semester...' where previously you had let us know we were in Spring, perhaps by having earlier mentioned the smell of Spring flowers in the grass. Or you could be more poetic like,

‘Bob kicked the fallen leaves with his foot restlessly as he turned to Daisy on the park bench.. “Daisy...” ’

You could say:

  • as Winter turned to Spring...
  • ‘As the nights became colder’ or ‘began to draw in’
  • As the trees began to show their Autumn colours.
  • Sitting by a fire, drinking egg nogg

Using the seasons can help you, and, as relationships have their own seasons, might be a fun way for you to position your characters, and their relationship, in time.

Think of Summer, with its tennis, grass, ice-creams, beach, swimming costumes, football games - maybe using events, like the Summer Prom (i.e - any event that we know usually occurs at a certain time of year) or Christmas, to let us know where we are at, in time.

Think about what we wear at different times of year

‘Daisy's pretty floral dress fluttered in the Summer breeze, as Bob...’

If more time passes, your characters can even change themselves - to let us know where we are at in time: As Daisy reached up to kiss Bob, he seemed a little taller, more mature, than when they'd first met 6 months ago...

So what I'm suggesting is that you let us know, creatively, where we are in time, instead of only using expressions, as I think it will be more fun to read - and hopefully, more fun for you to write, too! For, aren't you really asking 'how may I not bore you, the reader, with repetition?' - so, this is how!

Ultimately ‘Daisy turned and saw Bob across the square. His blue eyes were wrinkly now, and a grey streak at his temples gave him an authoritative appearance that was appropriate – for he was now the Dean of the college.

I hope that you enjoy this, and have lots of fun, writing...

  • If you dislike the formatting, you can rollback the edit. I just thought it needed a little formatting and emphasis here and there. It's a really good answer by the way.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 18, 2018 at 3:01
  • Thanks Mari-Lou - your edit is awesommmeee! 🌟(How do you get that elegant buff shadinggg?) Thank-you. Glad you like it. 😊🎉
    – Jelila
    Jan 18, 2018 at 3:25
  • 1
    3/3 If you want to know more about formatting, see this page ["Markdown help"] (english.stackexchange.com/editing-help)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:07
  • 1
    Oops I'm pressing the wrong buttons on yr comment, @Mari-LouA I hope I didn't muck something up! Thanks for your info! 😊
    – Jelila
    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:15
  • You're welcome @Danny! Post a link of where we can read your stories! 🌟
    – Jelila
    Jan 25, 2018 at 2:21

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