2. Time

2. Time

Bill and Sam are meeting Jill and Dave for lunch.

Main practice:  words about time
Revision:             so  -  as long as  -  should be able to

ish -  a suffix meaning approximately, i.e.
  • John said he'd be here twelve-ish.
(John might arrive any time between approximately 11.50 and 12.10.)

a stickler for time - Someone who insists on strict punctuality, i.e.
  • Sue's a real stickler for time, she hates it when anyone's late.

sharp - At an exact time, i.e.
  • She arrived at three sharp.

around / around about - also means approximately, i.e.
  • I'll see you around nine / around about nine. 

by + a time - before the time given, i.e.
  • I'll be there by ten.
  • The building will be completed by June.

as long as - but only if, i.e.
  • You can borrow the car as long as you bring it back before nine.
  • As long as the weather's nice we'll go for a walk tomorrow.


Bill and Sam are meeting their friends, Jill and Dave, for lunch. Dave is a very punctual person so Bill and Sam want to make sure they arrive at one o'clock, sharp.

Complete the sentences.

Bill:    What's the time, Sam?  (Check the drawing above.)

Sam:    ten.

Bill:    When are we meeting Jill and Dave for lunch?

Sam:   Well, I wasn't sure how long our shopping will take so I
             said one , but Dave didn't like that.

Bill:    I'm not surprised, he's .

Sam:   Right, yes, so he said one .

Bill:    Okay, well, as long as we finish shopping twelve-thirty
             we should be able to to get to the restaurant for one.

Sam:   Fine. By the way, what time's Katie getting back tonight?

Bill:    She said nine. I'll pick her up at the station.

Sam:   Okay, I'll make a late supper.


Complete the sentences.

around/around about  -  stickler for time  -  sharp  

I can't stand lateness. I'm a . If someone says they'll meet me at ten then I expect them to be at ten , not just before or just after . My sister always says she'll meet me this or that time, she's never exact about it. Well, if she's late I only wait 3 minutes, then I'm gone. It drives her mad but I think any lateness is rude.