ESL Learning: Time Idioms

ETO Time

If you’ve ever watched the UFC, you may have heard the announcer, Bruce Buffer, yell, “It’s time!”

What does he mean when he says, “It’s time”?

In this blog post, we will discuss this saying and two other idioms related to time.

It’s time: now is the time to do something


  • Son, you’re 16 now. I think it’s time for you to start practicing your driving skills.

  • The mothers of the world say that it’s time for us to stop fighting each other.

Moment of truth: a situation that requires us to face a challenge and find out more about ourselves and our plans


  • Today we face a moment of truth. We will open our restaurant and start inviting customers to eat our delicious food! What will they think?

  • The people of Earth are having to face a moment of truth as we experience the negative effects of polluting our planet.

Now or never: something must be acted on now, because the opportunity may not remain for much longer

  • It’s now or never. We need to make sure that we leave our children with a truly better world.

  • If we really want to be happy, we must choose to be happy now or never.

ETO Hourglass


Well, it’s time to say goodbye for now. When you reach your moments of truth, remember that we all have challenges in life. It’s now or never for us as a planet to work together, and 2014 is the year of teamwork!

Why not join the ETO family? Let’s work together to make the world better. For a free class, just click here.

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By Joseph

ETO American English teacher


How to Talk About Time: 3 Idioms

Time is a topic that I am very fascinated with. For those of you who haven’t heard this word so far, “fascinated with” means very interested in.

Let talk about some time idioms:

ETO Time

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  • As we learn a new language, we must be patient with ourselves. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • When we are building our dreams, we have to take our time. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Each of these sentences speaks about the idea that everything big and important requires lots of time to finish. The phrase is used to encourage people to be persistent (be willing to do things over and over again until we succeed). The Roman Empire was a huge group of nation states. It was the biggest empire in Europe before the European Union.

The main idea is that anything worth having requires time to create. By the way “building our dreams” describes when we take the time to focus on creating the things that we really desire (really, truly want).

It’s about time!

  • Ah, the train station has a healthy restaurant. It’s about time!
  • It’s about time for us to become better listeners.

This is a phrase that is used to describe that the time for something has arrived. Perhaps we were even feeling like the thing we are talking about should have already come in the past. In the first example, the speaker has been waiting for a healthy food option to be available at the train station. Maybe there were only junk food restaurants (restaurants with unhealthy food) before.

The second example describes how now is the time for us to listen better.


Now is the time.

  • Now is the time for me to improve my speaking!
  • Why wait? Now is the time for me to move forward.

This idiom describes how this moment is the perfect time to take action. There is no need to wait. The time has arrived for right action.

So Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s about time to think about the best ways for us to learn language.

Have you tried a free online English class with ETO? Now is the time!

There’s no time like the present! Notice how present, a word that we use to describe right now, also means gift. This moment is a gift for you.  Use it to benefit yourself and the generations to come, and you will be satisfied when it is your time to go.

Blessings for Long Life and Happiness in Every Moment.


By Joseph

ETO American English teacher

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