13. Time (1)

13. Time (1)

Tim visits his grandma.

Main Practice:   Words about Time.
Revision:              Present Perfect.


ago  -  
time before the present, i.e.

  • We got married three years ago.
  • The house was built a long time ago, but I don't know when.

at  -  at a specific time, (also, for the whole of a public holiday) i.e.

  • I'll meet you at seven o'clock.
  • I saw her at New Year.

by  -  before a specific time in the past, or in the future, i.e.

  • He said he would come by nine o'clock but he didn't arrive. (Past) 
  • They will finish building the bridge by the end of the year. (Future)

for ages
  -  a long time, relative to context, i.e.

  • I haven't bought a newspaper for ages. (5 weeks; I used to buy a paper every day.)
  • I haven't been on holiday for ages. (5 years; I used to go on holiday twice a year.)

in - many meanings with 'time',  in this conversation: to say how soon something will
        happen, i.e.

  • The car will be repaired in three days.
  • The new supermarket will open in one month.
  • In the first forty minutes of the match they scored four goals.

 -  at the present time in society or the world, contrasted with the past, i.e.

  • Nowadays, nearly everyone has a mobile phone.
  • Life is faster and more stressful nowadays.

recently  -  a short time before now, i.e.

  • She bought a new car recently.
  • He was ill recently, but I think he's better now. 
  • Recently, we've had a lot of dry weather. 

until  -  up to a certain time in the past or future, i.e.

  • She was nervous until she got on stage. (nervous up to the time she went on stage)
  • Until I read the book I didn't understand the movie. (until reading the book I didn't....)
  • I'll study here until June. (the situation of studying will continue up to June)
Tim's grandma is going to come to live with his family. He's gone to visit her and they talk about a school project he's got to do. 

Complete the sentences.

Tim:      So, Grandma, you're coming to live with us.

G'ma:    Yes, about three months, your Mum told me. 

Tim:      Is that before Christmas?

G'ma:    Oh, yes, Christmas.

Tim:      Good. It'll be great to have you around. In fact, you can help me with a school project.
               I've got to compare life with life fifty years .

G'ma:     Well, it was a completely different world, then. We had no computers or mobile
                phones.  recently, I didn't even have a television. I only got one after Grandad
                died because I got a bit lonely.

Tim:       Well, now you won't be lonely; you'll be with us.

G'ma:     That's right. I'm looking forward to it. Now, what time did your Mum say you had to be

Tim:       * six, but we've got plenty of time: it's only three o'clock now.

G'ma:     Good. Well, let's have some tea. Then I'll get out some of the old family
                photographs. I haven't seen them .

* Could also be by six, meaning some time before six.


Complete the sentences with the language you've practised. 

Don't forget to use capital letters at the start of sentences.

nowdays  -  in  -  until  -  at  -  for ages  -  by  -  ago 

1.  Recently, I bought a new phone. My wife had been telling me to do this as my
     old one, which I bought five years , was very basic. But technology is
     developing so fast that this new phone will be 'basic' in a year or two.  

2.   February we started building a new patio in our garden. We hope to have it finished    
     the summer so we can sit out enjoying meals in the sunshine and fresh air. 

3.   seven o'clock exactly the two presidents met and shook hands. Then they spoke for 
     three hours. this happened nobody thought there was any chance of peace between
     their two countries.