Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about some phrasal verbs that use the word "time." These are expressions relating to time and how to use it or not. Let's get started.
Okay. First expression is "to spend time." "To spend time" means to use time, yes, but we think of it as a resource. Here, we have "spend," which we also use for something like money, which we think of as a resource. We have limited amounts of that resource. When we say we're going to spend time with something, we're thinking about time as a resource. We have a limited amount of time and we choose to use that time for something. An example of this, "I spent time studying last night." I used my resource, my time resource to study. "I spent time studying last night."
Okay. Let's move along to the second expression, which is "make time." "To make time" means to remove things from a schedule, to do something, like to do something else. You have an established schedule, a set schedule, but there's another activity you would like to do. You need to choose something to remove from the existing schedule in order to do this new activity. We say that's called making time, to make time. You're creating time in your schedule, creating time in your life for a new activity. An example of this is, "Can you make time for a meeting?" You could use this when you're talking to a busy person, like, "Could you please make time for a meeting," meaning, could you please change part of your schedule to arrange a meeting with us? Please make time, create time.
This relates to another expression here, which is "find time," very similar to "make time." But the difference here, "find time" refers to searching a schedule for available time. Instead of removing time from your schedule, we use "find time" to mean looking at the schedule and searching for an open place, like you search on a calendar, for example, for a specific day or for a specific time to do an activity. We use the expression "find time" to talk about that. An example of this, "Let's find time to catch up."
In other words, we don't need to remove something from our schedule, so we don't use "make time" here, but "find time." "Let's find some point in our schedules that is good for both of us where we can catch up." It's a little less serious sounding than "make time." "Find time" is more like, "Let's just meet, let's get together at a point that's good for both of us. We don't need to remove anything from our schedules."
Okay. Let's move along to the next expression, which is "waste time, to waste time." "Waste" relates to throwing something away, like trash or garbage. "Waste time" means to use time in a non-productive way, non-productive. That means you're not doing something useful with your time. An example of this, "I wasted so much time on video games." In other words, "Playing video games was a useless way to spend my time. I did not do something productive." This speaker feels that playing video games was a waste of time, a useless way to use time.
Okay. This is similar then to the next expression, which is "kill time." "To kill time" sounds quite violent, but it's actually not. "To kill time" means to do something until a specific time. That means, typically, you are waiting for something. For example, you have a three o'clock meeting. You arrive at the location 30 minutes early. You have to wait until the three o'clock meeting. Until the three o'clock meeting, you can kill time. That means you find something to do. It's usually useless like maybe checking social media or you're watching TV somewhere. You're killing time. You're doing something that's typically not important until something else happens, like your meeting begins, or the person you're waiting for arrives. An example, "I'm killing time until my mom arrives at the station." In this case, the speaker is waiting at the station for his or her mother to arrive. Until that time, until the mother arrives, the speaker is killing time, doing something probably useless or just walking around, doing nothing really important, just killing time.
Okay. Let's move on to the last expression here, which is "take time." Many people ask the difference between "take time" and "spend time." "Take time" is used to mean to use time for a specifically chosen activity. We have decided to do this thing with our time. "Take time" and "spend time," they can be used in pretty much the same situations. Remember, "spend time" is used kind of to have the nuance of using time as a resource, something that there's a finite amount of. "Take time" doesn't necessarily have that same nuance of a resource, but it does sound like you're specifically choosing to use your time for that specific activity.
An example of this is, "He took time to visit his grandma." He specifically chose to use his time for this activity. It sounds like there was a clear decision made here. We could substitute "spend" here, like, "He spent time visiting his grandma," for example. That would be fine as well, but either are okay here. You can kind of choose which you prefer. If you want to make it sound like a resource, I suppose, you could use "spend time," but "take time" also just sounds like -- yeah, you really made a clear decision for what to do with your schedule.
I hope that these expressions help you express a little bit better how you use time and think about time in English. Of course, if you have any questions or comments or want to practice using one of these expressions, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and we'll see you again soon. Bye-bye.