In today’s blog we are going to look at expressions we use to talk about time and periods of time.
Topic – General
in a while / after a while… after a short period of time
Sam said that he was almost done with his homework and could go outside to play in a little while.
Mrs Lee was complaining about a headache, but after a while it disappeared.
sooner or later / one of these days…eventually, at some future time
It seems like it’s been raining for days, but it’ll stop sooner or later.
One of these days I want to take a trip to Canada, but I don’t know when I’ll have the time.
for a while… for a short period of time
I’m in a hurry, but I can visit for a while.
This morning it rained for a short while before the sun appeared.
for the time being / for now… temporarily, (not forever it can change)
We’ll have to keep our old car for the time being until we can afford to buy a new one.
Even though Joyce is very unhappy with conditions at her job, she has to continue working there for now.
for good / for keeps…permanently, forever
Mrs Jones has left her unfaithful husband for good and will soon file for divorce.
Daisy wants to stop drinking coffee for keeps because she thinks it’s bad for her health.
over and over (again) / time and time again / time after time…repeatedly
Jill likes the new jazz CD so much that she listens to it over and over again.
The baby tries to climb up into the chair time and time again.
I’ve told you time after time not to run into the street without looking both ways.
…from time to time / every so often / once in a while…occasionally, sometimes
From time to time wild animals come into our backyard searching for food.
Every so often I forget to call my parents on Sunday evening.
Once in a while Joe likes to sleep late in the morning.
in time (to)…before the appointed time …on time…exactly at the appointed time / punctually.
The Smiths left for the lecture early so they’d arrive in time for good seats. Fred thought he’d be late for class, but he managed to get there on time.
Fill in the blank with the missing part of the idiom
1.For the time _____, Kim has no intention of selling her apartment.
2.Sooner or _____ we all have to decide what we want to do in life.
3.I like to get away from everyone and be alone from _____ to time.
4.Our neighbor’s dog barks _____ and time again. Doesn’t it ever get tired?
5.One of these _____, I’ll be able to spend more time with you and the children.
6.Carlos heard a strange ringing sound in his ear for a _____.
7._____ a short while, the ringing in his ear stopped.
8.George tried to reach Sue over and _____, but there was no answer.
9.Soon I’m going to lose all this extra weight _____ good.
10.Mr. Jones rushed to the station but didn’t get there in _____ to catch his train.
1.Are there any stores in your neighbourhood that are open around the clock?
2.Is there any favourite place you visit time after time?
3.Name something unusual or interesting you’d like to do one of these days.
4.Is there a bad habit that you’ve already quit for good? Is there any other bad habit you’d like to quit once and for all?
5.For the time being, what is your main goal in life?
Note: I have adapted this lesson from lesson plans I use with my students in our live online sessions. Classes are 50 minutes long and can be done 1-1 or in small groups. For more information please visit my website www.monumentenglish.com
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