English vocabulary: words to use with ‘time’

‘Time’ is a word that forms many collocations. It’s part of lots of phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions. Let’s take a look at 11 of my favourite common words that go well with ‘time’ in this short story.

Make a note of the expressions with ‘time’ as you spot them in the text:

“It was lunchtime and as I had time on my hands, I thought it was high time to meet up with an old school friend. I called Sam and asked if he had time to meet me for lunch and he said he would love to spend some time with me and that we should meet at 1pm.

We met at the cafe down the road and I was on time but he called me to say he was running behind time and would be 5 minutes late so I read a newspaper to kill some time. He’s late all the time so I was expecting to wait and in the meantime I enjoyed catching up on the latest news.

Time went by and he arrived a little later. We had a great time eating and drinking and soon it was evening. Time flies when you are having fun! Sam had to leave to be in time to catch his train.’See you next time’ I said as he left.”

Which expression means the following?

1. time to eat in the middle of the day

2. extra time to use

3. the right time for something (usually that you have delayed)

4. to use time to do something

5. to do something at the correct time

6. when you are doing things after their scheduled time

7. very often

8. time passed

9. enjoyed ourselves

10. time passes quickly when you are enjoying yourself

11. to arrive before the correct time


1. lunchtime

2. time on your hands

3. high time to/for

4. spend time

5. on time

6. running behind time

7. all the time

8. time went by

9. have a great time

10. time flies when you are having fun

11. in time

images: Shari