Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today we answer Kate’s question about how we use “by the time” and you’ll see three examples of how we use it in native conversation.

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Here is Kate’s question:

“Greetings from Thailand! I am Kate and my English skills aren’t too good.

You both are my inspiration to learn an American accent. I have a grammar question to ask you both.

How do I use “by the time” in spoken and written English.

I hope to hear it soon on the podcast.”

-Kate, Thailand

Three situations where we use “by the time”:

  • It’s used for something that happened on or before a specific time that something else occurred.
    • “By the time I got to work I had already finished my coffee.”
    • “By the time we started recording today Michelle had already taught for two hours.”
  • It’s used when we talk about expectations or visions for the future
    • “By the time I am 35 I will have met the love of my life.”
    • “By the time I talk to you next I will have already traveled to India”
  • It’s used when we expect something to be completed by a certain point
    • “By the time you get home dinner will be ready.”
    • “By the time I see you next you will already be married.”

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Do we use “by the time” in writing?

We might use it in a novel or in a journal.

You could apply this in a business context.

What do you envision for your life in the future?

Leave a comment below using “by the time.”

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