Lindsay McMahon

To maintain a good connection in English conversations, you should set proper expectations on how long things will take especially when someone is helping you.

Today, Lindsay and Michelle share statements you can use to be clear about time using advanced English vocabulary.

Follow this lesson to build your English communication skills.

Setting Timelines

In the beginning of the episode, Michelle told Lindsay the episode will be a good 40 minutes.

Lindsay was surprised and said that the All Ears English Listeners are not used to a long episode and she has other things to do.

Michelle was just joking and told Lindsay she shouldn’t worry.

Lindsay mentions that in today’s episode, they will be teaching how to set time expectations.

You can use the term “a good…” in your sentence to sound more like a native English speaker and emphasize how long something will take.

We’ll show you exactly how to do it today.

How to Use “A Good…” in a Sentence

“A good…” can be put before a time marker.

You can add it before minutes, days, weeks, months, and many more lengths of time.

This term is often used to mention a substantial amount of time.

It is also a good way to show that you are certain that it will take that amount of time to finish something.

So, when you use “A good…”, it should be next to a long amount of time.

This is also a way for you to warn someone that they should be aware it will take longer than usual and that they have to plan accordingly.

Example on How to Use “A Good…”

Here are a few examples from Lindsay and Michelle for you to get a better idea of how to use “a good…”

  • Example 1:

Lindsay: Let’s get started on the homework at 8.

Michelle: Hmmm…let’s do 7:30. The teacher said it could take a good two hours to finish it.

Lindsay: Oh wow, ok, good idea.

Using the term “a good…” makes your conversation become more fluid.

It is a simple addition to your sentences but it is valuable to make you sound more like a native English speaker.

  • Example 2:

Michelle: I think I’ll take a pillow for the flight.

Lindsay: Yeah, we need to get to the airport a good four hours before, so it could be helpful at the airport too.

This example reminds Lindsay that she has a red-eye flight back to Boston.

She continues to keep purchasing flights on the red-eye and each time she complains.

She chooses this because it’s the cheapest plane ticket.

Typically when she does this, she’ll arrive at her destination early in the morning and have a sudden burst of energy but then in the afternoon she’ll be so tired and her day is shot.

Michelle knew she would mention it.

She has known Lindsay so well and it’s very amusing that she already anticipated what Lindsay was going to say.

  • Example 3:

Lindsay: Did you bring a snack?

Michelle: No…should I have?

Lindsay: Well, it could be a good two hours before we can eat again.

  • Example 4:

Michelle: I think I’ll get my PhD

Lindsay: Really?

Michelle: Yeah, so it may be a good five years before I get a new job.

  • Example 5:

Lindsay: When do you think we will start travelling more into space?

Michelle: Oh I think it’s a good 50 years away!

Lindsay listened to a podcast interview with Elon Musk.

She asks Michelle if she knows the work Elon Musk is doing.

Michelle is aware of it because her husband, Dan, is interested in Elon Musk’s projects.

Her husband has this dream to go to outer space.

Lindsay shares that Elon has a Starship project where they are working on taking cargo and people to outer space.

It looks like he is paving a way for us to move to outer space.

Michelle asked if Lindsay would want to go to outer space.

Lindsay says, currently, only rich people do it, but if there was a chance for her to do it at an affordable price, she would.

Use “A Good…” in The Business World

Using “a good…” is very flexible. You can even use it in a business or formal setting.

Here is an example from Lindsay and Michelle.

Lindsay: I think we should tell the boss that we need more time.

Michelle: Yeah true. It could take us a good two weeks to finish this project.

Using this term can be a warning or an explanation to reschedule.

It is a good neutral and objective way of estimating an amount of time.

Other Ways to Say It

There are other options similar to “a good…” that you may use.

  • It will be quite a while…
  • It will take a lot of time…

These are more formal and may sound a bit stiff.

It’s up to you what you want to use.

It really depends on your preference.

Expectation Versus Reality

Lindsay gave a real-life example that is similar to the one above.

She recently asked the contactor she is working with about the creation of their app.

She had this idea that it would take a couple of weeks but then she was told by the contractor that it would take him longer to accomplish what they want to achieve.

That’s the thing you realize with technology.

You can have the idea that it will take three weeks but it will actually take three months.

You can code something but to do it properly it usually takes longer than expected.

Michelle’s example is home improvement.

Lindsay agrees, she just moved.

When a contractor quotes you a time, you multiply it by three to consider other projects they are working on.


Use “a good” when talking about time– it’s emphatic and fun!

This is a good way to alert someone on what to expect on the timeline.

It’s also another way to let them anticipate what to do next.

In general, this is a great phrase to use at work, with friends, or even with family.

You don’t want to upset anyone because you didn’t set their expectation.

The key point is to maintain connection by setting expectations properly.

Can you share an example using the phrase “a good”?

We’d love to hear how you practice using it, let us know in the comments down below.

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