General Writing and Grammar Help/Time & timing


Dear Ted:

Would you please explain with the help of some examples the difference between "time" and "timing" when they are both used as nouns?

Also, are there any cases in which the two interchange?

Many, many thanks for your kind help.


Dear Paolo:

Would you please explain with the help of some examples the difference between "time" and "timing" when they are both used as nouns?

Also, are there any cases in which the two interchange?

*** My own opinion is that "time" is very general and has different meaning or usages; however, "timing," although related to "time," is used for very specific purposes.

Look at these two examples:

The time of the wedding was 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.

The timing of the wedding was terrible, because the bride's father had a heart attack.

*** I call the second sentence more "specific," because, unlike the first sentence, a reason was given that disrupted the wedding.  That's being very specific.

*** Use "timing" when you mean "scheduling" or what happens when the event takes place.

Our timing for the parties had to be carefully checked, so that all the students would be on campus.

We found the best times for holding our meetings were immediately after dinner.

Also, the word "timing" can mean keeping track of how much "time" has elapsed.  EX:  The timing for each race was kept by the team's manager. [how many minutes or seconds expired during the race]

But, the manager was responsible for setting the "time" of each meet during swimming season.  [referring to the actual date and time of day]

*** I can think of NO example in which the two words can be interchanged.  Nothing is coming to my mind right now.

Here is more information:

TIME is a component of a measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify the motions of objects.

Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time:-
1.Time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Time travel, in this view, becomes a possibility as other "times" persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.
2. The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events.

TIMING is the spacing of events in time. Some typical uses are:

1.The act of measuring the elapsed time of something or someone, often at athletic events such as swimming or running, where participants are timed with a device such as a stopwatch.
2.Engine timing, for various functions such as ignition, cam timing to control poppet valve timing and overlap, and fuel injection timing.

*** Here is an excellent website:

*** Paolo, I want to recommend a new website I found a few months ago.

There are two boxes into which you type your words, and the difference between them appears before your eyes.  I must warn you:  Some of the details are overwhelming.

Here is the direct link for time and timing.

*** This question was a hard one!


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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