Thứ Hai, 22 tháng 11, 2021

Talking about Time


Units of Time

  • millisecond   /ˈmɪləˌsekənd/

  • second  /ˈsekənd/

  • minute  /ˈmɪnɪt/

  • day

  • week

  • month

  • year

  • decade = 10 years  /dekˈeɪd/

  • century = 100 years  /ˈsentʃəri/

  • millennium = 1000 years  /mɪˈleniəm/

“What time is it?” - “ It's ten o'clock.”

Time of the Day

Day time ## night time

Midday ## midnight

AM ## PM

Morning - Afternoon - Evening

Dawn ## dusk   /dɑːn/   /dʌsk/

Sunrise ## sunset  /ˈsʌnraɪz/   /ˈsʌnset/

Twilight /ˈtwaɪlaɪt/

  Ex. All I could see was a dark figure in the twilight.

In + morning/afternoon/evening 

   Ex. I’ll come and see you in the morning, okay?

At + night/midday/midnight/daytime/weekend

  Ex. I just had a sandwich at midday.

Days of the week

  • Monday - Mon./ Mo.  /ˈmʌndeɪ/

  • Tuesday - Tue./ Tu.  /ˈtuːzdeɪ/

  • Wednesday - Wed./ We.  /ˈwenzdeɪ/

  • Thursday - Thu./ Th.  /ˈθɝːzdeɪ/

  • Friday - Fri./ Fr.  /ˈfraɪdeɪ/

  • Saturday - Sat./ Sa.  /ˈsæt̬ɚdeɪ/

  • Sunday - Sun./ Su.  /ˈsʌndeɪ/

Weekdays = from Monday to Friday

Weekend = Saturday and Sunday

At the weekend (UK) = On the weekend (US)

  Ex. Would you wear it to go jogging on the weekend?

Over the weekend = during the weekend

  Ex. I promise I'll call you over the weekend.

On + day of the week 

  Ex. The office is closed on Fridays.

Months of the Year

  1. January - Jan.  /ˈdʒænjueri/

  2. February - Feb.  /ˈfebruːeri/

  3. March - Mar.  /mɑːrtʃ/

  4. April - Apr.  /ˈeɪprəl/

  5. May - May  /meɪ/

  6. June - Jun.  /dʒuːn/

  7. July - Jul.  /dʒʊˈlaɪ/

  8. August - Aug.  /ɑːˈɡʌst/

  9. September - Sep.   /sepˈtembɚ/

  10. October - Oct.  /ɑːkˈtoʊbɚ/

  11.      November - Nov.  /noʊˈvembɚ/

  12. December - Dec. /dɪˈsembɚ/

Days of the month

1st first

2nd second

3rd third

4th fourth

5th fifth

6th sixth

7th seventh

8th eighth

9th ninth

10th tenth

11th eleventh

12th twelfth

13th thirteenth

14th fourteenth

15th fifteenth

16th sixteenth

17th seventeenth

18th eighteenth

19th nineteenth

20th twentieth

21st twenty-first

22nd twenty-second

23rd twenty-third

24th twenty-fourth

25th twenty-fifth

26th twenty-sixth

27th twenty-seventh

28th twenty-eighth

29th twenty-ninth

30th thirtieth

31st thirty-first

In + month

  Ex. Her birthday is in December.

On + month + day

  Ex. We went to Mexico on December 12.

Leap year  /ˈliːp/

  Ex. A leap year has 366 days instead of the usual 365.

In + year/ century

  Ex. The house was built in 1935.

Writing the Date

  • 14 March 2016 (UK) = day-month-year

  • March 14, 2016 (US) = month-day-year

Answer the questions:

  1. How many minutes are there in an hour and a half?

  2. What time do you usually wake up? When do you go to bed?

  3. How many hours do you often sleep? How many minutes is it?

  4. How many hours are there between midnight and noon?

  5. Do you like watching the sunrise/ sunset?

  6. When can you see the sunrise/ sunset in your country?

  7. Do you think that dusk is more beautiful than dawn? Why or why not?

  8. How many weekdays do you know? 

  9. What do you often do on the weekend?

  10. What’s your favourite day of the week? Why?

  11. How do we call 10 years/ 100 years / 1000 years?

  12. How many days in a year? How many months?

  13. What do you know about a leap year?

  14. How old are you? Can you name the date of your birth? 

  15. What’s your favourite month? Why?

More useful vocabularies:

After ## before

  Ex. I usually go to bed after midnight.

Beforehand  /bɪˈfɔːrhænd/

  Ex. I know she is coming back tonight because she's informed us beforehand.

Afterwards  /ˈæftɚwɚdz/

  Ex. We plan to go to the cinema first and eat afterwards.

Premature (adj)  /ˌpriːməˈtʊr/

  Ex. premature birth/death

Belated  /bɪˈleɪt̬ɪd/ = tardy /ˈtɑːrdi/ = slow or late in happening  

  Ex. a belated apology/ birthday greetings

       Dinner was somewhat delayed on account of David's rather tardy arrival.

Momentarily  /ˌmoʊmənˈterəli/ = for a very short time

  Ex. She was momentarily confused by the foreign road signs.

Clock  /klɑːk/

Clock face

Hour hand ## Minute hand ## Second hand

Types of Clock

  • analog clock  /ˈænəlɑːɡ  ˌklɑːk /  

  • alarm clock  /əˈlɑːrm ˌklɑːk/

  • cuckoo clock  /ˈkʊkuː ˌklɑːk/

  • digital clock  /ˈdɪdʒət̬əl ˌklɑːk/

  • grandfather clock  /ˈɡrænfɑːðɚ ˌklɑːk/

  • pendulum clock  /ˈpendʒələm/

Watch  /wɑːtʃ/

Pocket watch



Hourglass  /ˈaʊrɡlæs/

Calendar   /ˈkæləndɚ/

Calendar month/ year

Lunar month/ year

Time zone

  Ex. If you go from New York to London, you cross five time zones.

Schedule = timetable  /ˈskedʒuːl/


  Ex. There's no way I can meet that deadline.

Annual (adj)  /ˈænjuəl/

   Ex. an annual event/visit/holiday/report

Chronological (adj)   /ˌkrɒnəˈlɑːdʒɪkəl/

  Ex. Give me the dates in chronological order.

Daylight saving time = DST

  Ex. In DST, clocks are set forward one hour in early spring and they are set back one hour in autumn.

Equinox   /ˈekwənɑːks/

  Ex. spring/ autumnal equinox day

Solstice  /ˈsɑːlstɪs/

  Ex. The summer solstice has the longest days, and the winter solstice has the shortest.

Early bird ## night owl  

Jubilee   /ˌdʒuːbəˈliː/

  Ex. The company is celebrating its golden jubilee.

To synchronize  /ˈsɪŋkrənaɪz/

  Ex. We'd better synchronize our watches if we all want to be there at the same time.

Punctual (adj)   /ˈpʌŋktʃuəl/ 

  Ex. Please try to be punctual, so we can start the meeting on time.

Significant  /sɪɡˈnɪfəkənt/ = having a special meaning

  Ex. She looked at him across the table and gave him a significant smile.

Expressions with time

  • to spend time

 Ex. He wants to spend more time with his family.

  • to take time

  Ex. It takes a long time to get from London to Sydney.

  • to save time

  Ex. We'll definitely save time on our journey if we go by train.

  • to run out of time

  Ex. She ran out of time and didn't finish the last question.

  • to have/take time off

  Ex. I asked my boss if I could have some time off to go to the dentist.

  • in time = early enough

  Ex. I got home just in time - it's starting to rain.

  • (right) on time = at the particular moment

  Ex. My parents go to the house right on time.

  • with time 

  Ex. The dress has lost it's bright colors with time.

  • all the time = continuously

  Ex. I wish you'd stop laughing at me all the time.

  • in no time

  Ex. The kids ate their dinner in no time.

  • for all time = always

  Ex. I will love you for all time.

  • of all time 

  Ex. I think she is the greatest singer of all time.

  • from time to time = sometimes, but not often

  Ex. From time to time I still think of her.

  • time after time = again and again

  Ex. Time after time she gets involved in relationships with the wrong men.

To work overtime

  Ex. They're working overtime daily this month.

On overtime = being paid extra for working after the usual time

  Ex. Everyone is on overtime this weekend.

In overtime = a period of time in a sports game

  Ex. They lost to the Bears in overtime.

Idioms and useful phrases

At the crack of dawn = very early in the morning

  Ex. We'll have to leave at the crack of dawn.

In broad daylight = when anyone could see what is happening

  Ex. We never expected wolves to come into our yard in broad daylight.

In the dead of night/winter = in the middle of night/winter

  Ex. The fire broke out in the dead of night.

The sands (of time) are running out = not much time left to do something

  Ex. The sands are running out—if she doesn't move out of that neighborhood, she'll be the next victim of a violent crime.

All the time in the world

  Ex. Don't hurry – we have all the time in the world.

Time's a great healer = a difficult situation will seem less bad as time passes

  Ex. I know it's hard to consider now, but time is a great healer.

Time will tell = to discover the result in the future 

  Ex. Time will tell whether we made the right decision.

Under the wire = at the last possible moment

  Ex. They got in under the wire just before the entry requirements for the training program changed.

The last minute = the latest possible opportunity for doing something

  Ex. He always leaves his homework until the last minute.

If and when = at the time that something happens

  Ex. We don't own a car - we just rent one if and when we need it.

More questions

  1. How important is time to you?

  2. How often do you think about time?

  3. What is the traditional working timetable in your country? 

  4. Do you have a regular timetable during the week?

  5. Do you prefer to be busy or to have an easy schedule?

  6. How good are you at meeting deadlines?

  7. What takes up most of your time?

  8. How much time do you spend sleeping? Do you wish you could sleep more?

  9. Are you a "night owl" or an "early bird"?

  10. Are the clocks changed by an hour in Spring and Fall in your country?

  11. How much free time do you usually have?

  12. Do you have enough time to do the things you want to do?

  13. Does time fly when you’re having fun?

  14. Time seems to pass more slowly when you are bored. What activities do you find especially boring?

  15. How quickly does time pass in your English class?

  16. Do you ever waste your time?

  17. If you had more free time, what would you do?

  18. If you had the power to stop and restart time, when would you use it?

  19. If time travel were possible, which period of world history would you like to return to? Why?

  20. Do you agree with the expression "Time is money"? Why or why not?

  21. Do you believe that time is a great healer? Why or why not?

  22. Do you prefer to show up late or early?

  23. Have you ever arrived somewhere in the last minute?

  24. Does waiting for something bother you?

  25. Do you usually wear a watch? What do you usually use to know what time it is? 

  26. Are you able to wake up at a specific time without the use of an alarm clock?

  27. What's the most significant time of your life?

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