Jen’s English Tips – Time as a Countable and Uncountable Noun
Time as a Countable and Uncountable Noun
The word time has both countable and uncountable uses.
When we talk about the amount of time (number of hours/days etc.) required to complete something, time is usually uncountable.
How much time do we need to paint the walls? (NOT How many time do we needâ€¦?)
We took quite some time to put the child to bed.
Hurry up â€“ we havenâ€™t got enough time.
The project was a complete waste of time and money.
In expressions like a long time or a short time, the word time is used as a countable noun.
I took a long time to proofread the work.
When we talk about clock times, time is countable.
Five oâ€™clock would be a great time to start.
I called him at various times yesterday.
When time is used without a prepositionÂ Prepositions are often dropped before common expressions with time.
Iâ€™m busy right now. Can you come another time? (More natural than â€˜Can you come at another time?â€™)
What time does the train leave? (More natural than â€˜At what time does the train leave?â€™)
You canâ€™t fool me this time.
On time and in time
On time means â€˜at the planned timeâ€™. In time means â€˜with enough time to spare.â€™
It is important that the meeting start on time.
She would have died if they hadnâ€™t taken her to hospital in time.
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