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Once In A Blue Moon... And Other Great Time Idioms

 

Learning idioms will help you boost your confidence when speaking in English. Using an idiom every now and then will make you sound more fluent and give you a nice variety when you want to express your ideas. Not only that - it will help you understand native-English speakers much more easily. In this post, you will learn useful idioms about time with definitions and examples. Listen to the podcast episode on your favorite platform (Talaera Talks) and check out the meanings below.

Idioms About Time

Before we dive into the definitions and examples, read the little story below and count how many time idioms you find.

Hey, Mark, how's it going? I don't think we've seen each other since 2019. Time flies, hey? Things are all right over here. Although I feel I've been working around the clock lately. Did you know we closed our headquarters? We went fully remote. And, well, people seem to like it. They don't have to commute or kill time between meetings. Some of them are even able to beat the clock and finish tasks way before the deadline. Hm, at the end of the day, time is money, right? I kind of feel, you know, that I liked the idea of going to the office once in a blue moon. But I guess that ship has sailed. Anyway, I'm going to finish this task, the one that I was working on, and call it a day. Let's catch up soon, shall we?

#1 Time flies

  • Definition: Time seems to pass very quickly
  • Example: People say time flies when you're having fun.

#2 Around the clock

  • Definition: For 24 hours, without stopping
  • Example: I feel like I’ve been working around the clock lately! 

#3 To kill time

  • Definition: To do something that keeps you busy while you are waiting for something else to happen.
  • Example: I don’t really have time to get work down between meetings, so I just kill time on Twitter.

#4 To beat the clock

  • Meaning: Finish something before time is up, before a deadline
  • Example: Although he’s often late in the mornings, he somehow always manages to beat the clock and finishes his tasks before anyone else.

#5 At the end of the day

  • Meaning: When everything is taken into consideration
  • Example: She will listen to all of our opinions, but at the end of the day she will decide what to do with the new campaign.

#6 Time is money

  • Meaning: Time is a valuable resource, therefore it's better to do things as quickly as possible.
  • Example: I must remind him that time is money.

#7 Once in a blue moon

  • Meaning: Very rarely
  • Example: Even though I can go to the office every day, I actually only go once in a blue moon.

#8 That ship has sailed

  • Meaning: The opportunity is lost, we've missed a shot
  • Example: –Do we still want to send them the proposal? –No, that ship has sailed. They opted for a different vendor.

#9 Call it a day

  • Meaning: To finish working on something, a day’s work’s been completed
  • Example: We’ve been working for a long time on this with no progress. Let’s call it a day and come with new ideas tomorrow.

Continue improving your communication skills for professional situations; get in touch with Talaera. This article works as supporting material for our podcast episode on how to ask for clarification. You can read the transcript below. Make sure you check out all our other Talaera Talks episodes and subscribe to get new episode alerts.

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If you enjoyed this article, keep reading:

Talaera Talks - Transcript Episode 25

If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit the podcast website. Listen to it on your favorite platform.

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Intro
Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!

0:25
Hello there. My name is Paola and I hope you're doing very well. I feel I haven't brought you a Talaera Bit in a while. So here we go. Today, I have a few super common expressions about time. And, as usual, I'll tell you a little story that includes those time idioms. Listen carefully and try to count how many you can hear. Are you ready? Here we go.

0:54
Hey, Mark, how's it going? I don't think we've seen each other since 2019. Time flies, hey? Things are all right over here. Although I feel I've been working around the clock lately. Did you know we closed our headquarters? We went fully remote. And, well, people seem to like it. They don't have to commute or kill time between meetings. Some of them are even able to beat the clock and finish tasks way before the deadline. Hm, at the end of the day, time is money, right? I kind of feel, you know, that I liked the idea of going to the office once in a blue moon. But I guess that ship has sailed. Anyway, I'm going to finish this task, the one that I was working on, and call it a day. Let's catch up soon, shall we?

1:46
So that's the end of my little story. How many were you able to spot. Let me see, we had: time flies, around the clock, to kill time, beat the clock, at the end of the day, time is money, once in a blue moon, that ship has sailed, and call it a day. So nine, were you able to hear them all?

2:11
Let me give you a super quick definition of all of them with one example to make sure that they all stick and that you're able to use them. So the variable The first one was "Time flies". And we say this when we feel that time seems to pass very quickly. And people say Time flies when you're having fun. I hope time flies while you're listening to this.

2:35
Number two was around the clock, I told you that I feel I've been working around the clock lately. And it means that you're doing it for 24 hours without stopping. I feel I've been working around the clock lately.

2:50
The third one was to kill time to kill time is to do something that keeps you busy while you're waiting for something else to happen. And this is actually true sometimes I don't really have time to get much work done between meetings, especially if it's like 15 minutes in between. So I just kill time on Twitter. Do you do that?

3:14
Number four was beat the clock. And this doesn't happen as often as I would like it to happen. But it means to finish something before time is up or before a deadline. So here's an example. Although he's often late in the mornings, he's somehow always manages to beat the clock and finishes his tasks before anyone else.

3:38
Number five, at the end of the day, I say this very often. And I do it when everything is taking into consideration. For example, She will listen to all of our opinions, but at the end of the day, she will decide what to do with the new campaign at the end of the day. super common expression.

3:57
Number six, time is money. I think this one exists in many other languages other than English. And it's I'm not sure if it's an idiom or proper, but it's something we say when we want to express that time is a valuable resource. And it's better to do things as quickly as possible.

4:18
Number seven, once in a blue moon, this was quite cute. And it just means very rarely. So for example, even though I can go to the office every day, I actually only go once in a blue moon. If you do something once in a blue moon, it means you don't do it often at all.

4:38
Number eight that ship has sailed. We've lost the opportunity with missed the shot. We cannot fix it. For example. Do we still want to send them the proposal? Oh no, that ship has sailed. Unfortunately, they opted for a different vendor.

5:01
And the last one, call it a day! To finish working on something, it means that your day of work has been completed. It's one is a bit odd to call it a day. But it just means Let's finish for today. Like, we've been working for a very long time and on this and we haven't made much progress. So let's call it a day and come with new ideas tomorrow.

5:28
And that's exactly what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna call it a day, and I will bring you a new episode soon. All right, have a wonderful day.

5:40
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We'll be back soon with more! And visit our website at https://talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!

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