Time Flies: What Is the Definition of the Helpful Idiom “Time Flies”

Last Updated on March 23, 2020

“Time flies” is a common idiomatic saying that you may hear or see frequently in everyday conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning of this figurative phrase and the story behind its origin. You will also see examples of how to properly use this phrase in conversations/statements and learn other ways to say the same thing in more literal terms.

Time Flies

Time Flies Meaning

The idiom “time flies” means that time passes fast when in a situation where you might not be paying attention to it specifically.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

This phrase comes from the Latin phrase tempus fugit. In English, this term translated to time flies. The phrase first appeared in Latin in a book of poems titled Georgics written by Virgil. The poems were most likely written in 29 B.C., making this one of the oldest idiomatic phrases. It was translated and became widely used in the English language over many years. The expression compares time to birds and flight, symbolizing how you can see birds in the sky flying and before you know it they are gone from sight.

“Time Flies” Examples

Examples in Statements

A response recorded by a news reporter on the upcoming elections.

  • “It seems that we just voted not that long ago. How time flies!”

A statement made by a celebrity winning a Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • “Here I am winning this Lifetime Achievement Award and I still feel like my career just started. Time flies when you have a career and not just a job.”

Examples in Conversations

A conversation between two friends in a limousine on the way home from their prom.

  • Friend 1: I can’t believe that prom is over already!
  • Friend 2: I know! Me neither. I planned for months for this day and now it’s just over.
  • Friend 1: Time flies when you are having fun, I guess!

A conversation between two friends talking about their children.

  • Friend 1: I cannot believe that today is Chris’s fifth birthday.
  • Friend 2: Yeah, Caitlynn will be six in July!
  • Friend 1: Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday we bought them home from the hospital.
  • Friend 2: I guess that’s why my mom said to cherish every moment because time flies!

More useful examples:

  • Time flies like an arrow , and time lost never returns.
  • Time flies when you’re having fun.
  • Along with the time flies we grew up gradually,become increasingly miss myself benighted.
  • Let’s begone, how time flies!

Other Ways to Say “Time Flies”

Like most idiomatic phrases, there are many other ways to say “time flies” and still convey the same meaning. Some of the things you could say instead include:

  • Time moves so quickly
  • Time moves in the blink of an eye
  • Time seems to move fast
  • Time passes very quickly
  • Time flies like an arrow

Time Flies | Picture

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