I have seen games using both forms time's up and time up to say that the time is up. Which is correct?


They both mean the time is up, that is, the time allotted for this activity has expired. Time's up is a contracted form, and time up is an ellipted form. Which you use depends on context.

  • 4
    I have never heard time up in my life, only time’s up. – tchrist Oct 15 '12 at 17:56
  • @tchrist: But the OP has, or at least seen it. – Barrie England Oct 15 '12 at 18:01
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    @tchrist Check my comment above, the Bejeweled game uses it on speed mode. – BernardGra Oct 15 '12 at 18:03
  • @J.R., It is the same usage, you you play till the end of the 1 minute match, the Time Up comes on the screen, indicating that time has expired. – BernardGra Oct 15 '12 at 18:35

I think "time's up" is correct. It's a contraction for "time is up" (obviously). "Time up" seems to have no verb. It's just a noun and a preposition. Perhaps games that use "time up" are made in non-English-speaking countries. Foreign games often have slight missteps in colloquialisms.

  • "Time out" is common enough in the United States, where sports need breaks for advertising – Henry Oct 15 '12 at 17:55
  • The bejeweled uses Time up, when playing speed mode. Here is a Link: bejeweled.popcap.com/html5/ – BernardGra Oct 15 '12 at 17:59
  • @Henry: except that "Time out" is an entirely different construction. There's no implied 'is':'Time is out' would not make sense/would mean something completely different. – Marthaª Oct 15 '12 at 19:55

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