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How to Talk About Time: 3 Idioms

Time is a topic that I am very fascinated with. For those of you who haven’t heard this word so far, “fascinated with” means very interested in.

Let talk about some time idioms:


Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  • As we learn a new language, we must be patient with ourselves. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • When we are building our dreams, we have to take our time. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Each of these sentences speaks about the idea that everything big and important requires lots of time to finish. The phrase is used to encourage people to be persistent (be willing to do things over and over again until we succeed). The Roman Empire was a huge group of nation states. It was the biggest empire in Europe before the European Union.

The main idea is that anything worth having requires time to create. By the way “building our dreams” describes when we take the time to focus on creating the things that we really desire (really, truly want).

It’s about time!

  • Ah, the train station has a healthy restaurant. It’s about time!
  • It’s about time for us to become better listeners.

This is a phrase that is used to describe that the time for something has arrived. Perhaps we were even feeling like the thing we are talking about should have already come in the past. In the first example, the speaker has been waiting for a healthy food option to be available at the train station. Maybe there were only junk food restaurants (restaurants with unhealthy food) before.

The second example describes how now is the time for us to listen better.


Now is the time.

  • Now is the time for me to improve my speaking!
  • Why wait? Now is the time for me to move forward.

This idiom describes how this moment is the perfect time to take action. There is no need to wait. The time has arrived for right action.

So Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s about time to think about the best ways for us to learn language.

Have you tried a free online English class with ETO? Now is the time!

There’s no time like the present! Notice how present, a word that we use to describe right now, also means gift. This moment is a gift for you.  Use it to benefit yourself and the generations to come, and you will be satisfied when it is your time to go.

Blessings for Long Life and Happiness in Every Moment.


By Joseph

ETO American English teacher

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January 31, 2022

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