Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English, 2nd edition

a matter of time: chỉ là vấn đề thời gian,
= trước sau gì
the mists of time sự mờ mịt của thời gian
=đã lùi sâu trong quá khứ, không còn dấu vết, hay ghi chép gì

good , perfect time

quá đúng lúc, thời cơ tốt nhất

My watch keeps good time.

chỉ đúng giờ

For the first time in history, lần đẩu tiên

at this ~ of (the) year

eg.> The leaves start to turn red at this ~ of (the) year.
Thời gian này trong năm, hàng năm độ này lá bắt đầu úa vàng

this time tomorrow/ yesterday

giờ này ngày mai / hôm qua

for the ~ being (= temporarily)

tạm thời (cho đến lúc này)

at the present ~

lúc này, ngay lúc này

time + verb

thời gian trôi qua, time flies, time passes, time goes by

eg.> As time went by we saw less and less of each other.
The changing seasons mark the passing of time.

eg.> How time flies!  Ôi thời gian thật chóng qua!
eg.> Time drags in this job. Việc này kéo dài lê thê
Time heals all wounds. Thời gian sẽ hàn gắn những vết thương

BACK IN TIME: ngược thời gian  
eg.> The play takes us back in time  to the 1940s.
          Vở kịch mang chúng ta ngược thời gian trở lại những năm 1940

OVER TIME: với thời gian, theo với thời gian, qua thời gian
eg.> Perceptions change over time
          Cảm nhận của con người cũng thay đổi với thời gian

THROUG TIME: xuyên qua thời gian (trong khoa học)
eg.> a travel through time: Chuyến du hành qua thời gian

a matter of time: chỉ là vấn đề thời gian, = trước sau gì
eg.> It was only a matter of ~ before someone tried to kill him.
          Trước sau gì thằng ấy cũng bị người ta giết

the mists of time : sự mờ mịt của thời gian, ( quá khứ xa mịt mờ, hàng trăm, hàng ngàn năm)
The origins of this custom are lost in the mists of ~.

2 time shown on a clock: đồng hổ chỉ 2 giờ


The attacks were launched at 9 p.m. local ~.

daylight saving

British Summer , Eastern Standard , Greenwich Mean , etc.

verb + time


Can he tell the ~ yet? ( BrE )

Can he tell ~ yet? ( AmE )


Do you have the ~?

What ~ do you have? ( AmE )


What ~ do you make it? ( BrE )

look at

Look at the ~! We’ll be late.


Let me just check the ~. : xem lại giờ, coi xem mấy giờ

time + noun

time zone: múi giờ

ahead of … ~ , behind … ~

10 hours behind Pacific Standard Time

phrases: at … time in the morning / afternoon /evening , at … time of day , at … time of the morning / afternoon /evening/night

buổi sáng giờ này

at this time of the day: hàng ngảy giờ này, giờ này trong ngày
eg.> There’s less traffic at this time of day
What are you doing out of bed at this time of night?
eg.> The leaves start to turn red at this ~ of (the) year.
Thời gian này trong năm, hàng năm độ này lá bắt đầu úa vàng

this time tomorrow, etc.: giờ này ngày mai

This ~ tomorrow I’ll be in Canada.

3 time when sth happens / should happen



There are extra buses at peak ~s.


closing , opening

arrival , departure

verb + time

fix ( BrE ) , set

We need to set a ~ for the next meeting.


time + verb


You’ll feel differently about it when the ~ comes.


ahead of ~

We had everything worked out ahead of ~.

behind ~ ( BrE )

The plane took off an hour behind ~.

by the ~

By the ~ you get there the meeting will be over.

in ~

We got home in ~ to see the end of the game.

on ~

The trains are rarely on ~.

~ for

It’s ~ for dinner.

4 amount of time


considerable , long

little , short


It is a special price for a limited ~.




We’re wasting precious ~.


free , leisure , spare


journey , travel , travelling/traveling


the movie’s two-hour running ~

playing ( esp. AmE ) , screen

The coach plans to give younger players more playing ~.

De Niro makes the most of limited screen ~.

lead , waiting

There is a long lead ~ between order and delivery of the product.

… of time

amount , length , period

Have you lived overseas for any length of ~?

great deal

A great deal of ~ has been spent on developing this software.

verb + time


Do you have ~ for a chat?

I had no ~ to think.


Do you need more ~?

give sb/sth

I can certainly do the job if you give me ~.

take (sb)

It takes ~ to make changes in the law.

It took her a long ~ to read the report.

Take your ~ ( = take as much time as you like ) .


She spends much of her ~ reading.

I hope to spend more ~ with my family.

kill , pass , while away

It helps to pass the ~.

fritter away , idle away

devote , put , use

She devotes all her spare ~ to gardening.

He put all his ~ into the show.

allow , leave

They didn’t allow much ~ for discussion.

This doesn’t leave much ~ for us to get ready.

find , make

I can never find ~ to write letters.

I can probably make the ~ to see them.


We had to wait some ~ before the bus arrived.

gain , save

You would save ~ with a dishwasher.


measures to reduce waiting ~s


lose , run out of

We have no ~ to lose (= we must hurry) .

I didn’t finish the test—I ran out of ~.

be pressed for , be short of

be out of

play for

Not knowing what to do, she played for ~ by going to the bathroom.

time + verb

be up , run out

Sorry, your ~ is up.

time + noun

frame , interval , period , scale , span




at a ~

He surfs the Internet for hours at a ~.

for a ~

I lived there for a ~.

in ~

You’ll get used to the work in ~.

over ~ , with ~

Her skills improved with ~.


all in good ~ (= sth will happen when the time is right)

Be patient, Emily! All in good ~.

all the ~

The letter was in my pocket all the ~ (= while I was looking for it) .

She leaves the lights on all the ~ (= always / repeatedly ) .

the entire ~ , the whole ~

for quite some ~

He’d been thinking about quitting his job for quite some ~.

if ~ permits

We will discuss this matter later, if ~ permits.

in the fullness of ~ (= when the time is right, usually after a long period)

in good of ~ , in plenty of ~

Get to the airport in good ~ ( = plenty of time before the plane leaves ) .

in next to no ~ , in no ~ at all

in ten minutes’, three hours’, etc. ~ ( esp. BrE )

I’ll be back in ten minutes’ ~.

in your own good ~ , in your own ~ (= taking as long as you want / need )

most of the ~

a race against ~

Finishing the book was a race against ~.

a long ~ ago , some ~ ago

Her parents died a long ~ ago.

a waste of ~

What a waste of ~!

5 ( often times ) period in the past/present


good , great , happy

bad , difficult , hard , rough , sad , tough , troubled , unhappy

Times are hard for the unemployed.

ancient , early , former , old

in ancient ~s

modern , recent

medieval , prehistoric , etc.

time + verb


Times have changed since Grandma was young.


at a/the ~

He lived at the ~ of the Civil War.

At one ~ Mary was my best friend.

before sb’s ~

The Beatles were before my ~.

in sb’s ~

Mr Curtis was the manager in my ~ (= when I was working there) .

in ~s

in ~s of trouble


from ~ immemorial , since ~ immemorial (= for a very long time )

of all ~

the greatest hockey player of all ~

a sign of the ~s

It’s a sign of the ~s when sports stars earn more than movie stars.

~ was when

Time was when ( = there was a time when ) we never needed to lock our house at night.

6 occasion


that , this

I’m determined to pass this ~.

final , last

When was the last ~ you saw her?

another , next

Next ~ you’re here let’s have lunch together.


each , every

Every ~ I hear that song I feel happy.



appropriate , good , suitable

Is this an appropriate ~ to discuss my salary?

appointed , right

bad , wrong

This would be a bad ~ to tell her.

first , second , etc.



countless , many

I’ve told you countless ~s.


… of times



verb + time


I can remember the first ~ I met her.


We’ll have to bide our ~ until the rain stops.

time + verb


Your ~ will come.

be ripe

The ~ is ripe for revolution.


at a/the ~

The chairlift can take four people at a ~.

At the ~ of writing, a ceasefire is under discussion.

Hot water is available at all ~s.

He can be rather moody at ~s.

by the ~

She’ll have gone by the ~ we get there.

for the … ~

I told her not to do it for the umpteenth ~.


at the present ~

for the ~ being (= temporarily)

a number of ~s

x ~s out of x

three ~s out of ten

7 when you experience sth in a particular way


enjoyable , fun , good , grand ( esp. BrE ) , great , marvellous/marvelous , pleasant , splendid ( esp. BrE ) , wonderful

It was a fun ~ for us girls.

awful , dreadful ( esp. BrE ) , horrible , miserable , sad , terrible

difficult , hard

verb + time


Did you have a good ~ in Spain?

We had a great ~ at the party.


8 time taken in a race, etc.




He completed the course in record ~.

verb + time

clock up , record

She clocked up one of the fastest ~s of the year.

time + noun


9 musical rhythm



double , quick

verb + time

beat , keep

The conductor beat ~ with a baton.

time + noun



in ~ , in ~ to , in ~ with , out of ~ with

Kelly played guitar and everyone clapped their hands in ~.

They were clapping in ~ to the music.

© Oxford University Press, 2009


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