This is for a questionnaire. There are multiple options to choose from that indicate that I can save time with a certain option. I am wondering whether to use "time savings" or "time saving" in this context:

Routing A: Time saving of 30 minutes with a probability of 50 percent.


Routing A: Time savings of 30 minutes with a probability of 50 percent.

Various translation sites give me the first option as correct, but this might be because they translate from German, where the first option is the literal translation. My gut says it is the second.

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    I think both sentences sound like awkward fragments without verbs. “Time” is unnecessary when “minutes” already indicates time. I’d expect something like, “Route A: Saves 30 minutes with a probability of 50%”. Alternatively, “Route A: Yields savings of 30 minutes...”. Have you considered the idiomatic expression “travel time” too? As used here: parliament.nsw.gov.au/lcdocs/other/10700/… Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 22:03
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    Notice that German forms compound words that work well as units but “time savings” is not as closely bound together as the equivalent German expression and so we are more inclined to split the words up etc. in different contexts. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 22:07
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    The other obvious option that I missed was: “Route A: Saving 30 minutes with a probability of...”. I notice now that I unconsciously changed “routing” to “route”. Unless there is a particular context preventing it, I’d prefer the ordinary noun “Route” here. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 22:14
  • One is single, one is plural, but something can offer a single time saving or multiple time savings depending on the specifics.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 14, 2023 at 21:40
  • 'Savings' may correspond to a single amount of money in an account. The plural form is used even if I've only put one deposit into an account. I'd say neither is incorrect, in your example, but that the singular form (time saving; I'd use 'a time saving' here) is more idiomatic. Commented Feb 11 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


Don't follow your gut as shown here https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/time-saving the correct way to say this sentence is "Time saving of 30 minutes with a probability of 50 percent.

Time saving is singular Time savings is plural in this case it's one time saving, so routing a is the correct answer.

  • You could consider a routing as offering multiple time savings, for instance if it saves some time at the start, and separately saves some time at the end, or if it includes multiple options or possibilities, or various other ways. There's no way of answering the question without guessing.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 14, 2023 at 21:41
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    The dictionary definition is for the compound adjective, which is never spelled with a final s. Commented Feb 11 at 19:22

In this context, it would be more fitting to use "time savings." Here's a revised version:

Routing A: Time savings of 30 minutes with a probability of 50 percent.

This wording is appropriate because "time savings" is used as a noun phrase to describe the amount of time that is saved. It's expressed in the plural form to indicate a quantity of saved time.

  • Hello, Elizabeth. I'd prefer 'A time saving' though as you say the plural form is also acceptable (especially with 'with a probability ...' juxtaposed). I don't really agree (or disagree) with your final sentence, but it (together with your claim that the plural form is acceptable here) needs supporting evidence in an 'answer' on ELU. Evidence (from recognised authorities, data ...) makes answers far better and liable to be upvoted; answers lacking such can come over as (and may even be) purely opinion. Commented Jun 11 at 11:12
  • @EdwinAshworth Using "time savings" is correct in your context. According to the Cambridge Dictionary and Merriam-Webster, "savings" refers to the amount saved, and "time savings" specifically means the time you save. This term is commonly used in business and everyday language to talk about how much time you can save. For example, check out these definitions: dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/savings merriam-webster.com/dictionary/savings Commented Jun 11 at 11:38
  • These do not include the metaphorical extension to time; they specify money. // Google offers many acceptable-looking examples. Commented Jun 11 at 11:53

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