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for a time / in these times Options
Magritte
Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2018 11:21:45 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/8/2018
Posts: 3
Neurons: 31
Hello everybody,

here are two expressions containing the word "time":

1. The young man often left his wife for a time.
2. In these times his wife felt unhappy and insecure.

@ 1: The first expression is probably ok. But is it quite common to use it or would it be better to say "for a certain/indefinite (period of) time?

@ 2: The second expression would probably not be acceptable. Have you got any suggestions how to express this idea? "During this period of time" / "During this time"?

Looking forward to your replies!

Best,

Magritte
FounDit
Posted: Monday, October 15, 2018 12:34:37 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,725
Neurons: 51,343
Magritte wrote:
Hello everybody,

here are two expressions containing the word "time":

1. The young man often left his wife for a time.
2. In these times his wife felt unhappy and insecure.

@ 1: The first expression is probably ok. But is it quite common to use it or would it be better to say "for a certain/indefinite (period of) time?
This is a common expression that indicates a certain period of time which is not specified. Usually, we think of it as a short period of time, perhaps any amount up to a month or so, but usually not much longer than that.

@ 2: The second expression would probably not be acceptable. Have you got any suggestions how to express this idea? "During this period of time" / "During this time"?
This phrase is used most often to refer to the time period we are living in at the moment, which would be a range of time. An example might be anything in the last ten years. Your examples of: "During this period of time" / "During this time", would work very well for this.

But it could also mean any year during what we call the modern era, which could be the last one hundred years. It isn't definite.

However, since the sentence you use as an example mentions a wife, "in these times" would refer to the time period that is being discussed which involves the wife, so it would be a short time period. Context would explain which time period you mean.

Looking forward to your replies!

Best,

Magritte


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 8:32:01 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,401
Neurons: 179,177
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi!

Yes - it's a matter of what "In these times" refers to - usually, on its own (not defined in another sentence) and means "these days" or "in the present era" - it can be years long.

In these times, we use cars to move around; our ancestors used horses.
I think "These days" is much more common.

However, if these two sentences go together:
The young man often left his wife for a time. In these times his wife felt unhappy and insecure.
it's different.

"For a time" is "for a relatively short period of time". As FounDit says, I wouldn't use it for more than a month. If it were a month or two, I'd say "The young man often left his wife for some time."

In this short paragraph, "In these times" means "In the times he left her alone".



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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