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Time Idioms

4 min read
30 December 2020
london view with big ben on the back

There are lots of English expressions using time. Your time is precious - which is why we've summarised the most common time idioms into one blog. 


1. Beat the clock

Meaning: To succeed in something before time is up.

Example: “Burcu beat the clock and booked a Kaplan English course before prices increased!”


2. Turn back the hands on time

Meaning: To go back to the past.

Example: “Phil had to turn back the hands of time and wear his tracksuit from the 1990s for a fancy dress party.”


3. Kill time

Meaning: Do something not particularly interesting to pass time. 

Example: “Mike arrived to the party early so he had to kill time before entering the venue.”


students working together in a classroom
Time always flies when you're working on group projects.


4. Once in a blue moon

Meaning: Something that happens very rarely.

Example: “Rob buys a round at the bar once in a blue moon.”


5. Behind the times

Meaning: Being old fashioned.

Example: “Chase is behind the times because he just listens to Simon & Garfunkel all day."


6. Time flies

Meaning: When time passes quickly.

Example: “Time flies at a party because you’re having so much fun!”


Check as well this article

Weather Idioms


7. Wasting time

Meaning: Doing something with no purpose.

Example: “Hazel was just wasting time at the bus stop playing on her phone.”


8. The big time

Meaning: The top level of a profession.

Example: “Leo made the big time when he was promoted the boss of the company."


Want to hit 'the big time' in your profession or industry? If you think you're fluent in English, why not take our English test below? It takes less than 10 minutes!


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