Time & timing


Someone tries to say what I do not want to hear and what is not appropriate, which sentence is natural to you?

This is not a good time to talk about it. VS. This is not a good timing to talk about it.

I think the second is correct but I also have heard the first one used. What do you think? Thank you so much as always and have a good day.

asked Feb 27 '13 at 12:21 Hans Contributor

2 answers


I like what Lewis has said, but want to add some more comments about the difference between timing and time for these meanings:




This gerund has 2 meanings:


(1) [uncountable] the skill of doing something at exactly the right time
perfect/good/bad etc timing
He was just walking into the restaurant when we got there. Perfect timing.

He told jokes with an exquisitesense of timing.


(2) [uncountable and countable] the time when someone does something or when something happens, especially when you are considering how suitable this is
timing of
The President and I did not discuss the timing of my departure.

Ferry schedules and precise timings are subject to weather conditions on the day of departure.




The noun time has many other meanings, but one of them is "[countable and uncountable] the particular minute, hour, day etc when something happens or should happen"

a good time/a bad time

This might be a good time to start planning the new garden.


So, the main difference between timing and time is that if you want to:


(1) focus on a person's skill, use timing;


She always has good timing.


(2) speculate or talk about how appropriate a prospective schedule/plan is or might be, you can use timing or time (sometimes with subtle shifts in wording, as shown below);


The timing of next week's meeting is not great. / The time of next week's meeting is not great.


Your timing is not great; I have to rush off to a meeting. / This is not a good time; I have to rush off to a meeting.


Next week is not a good time for the meeting. / Next week is not good timing for the meeting.


Maybe this is a good time to talk about the budget. / Talking about the budget now is not good timing.


I hope this helps.

link comment edited Feb 27 '13 at 15:05 Shawn Mooney Expert

The first is the better choice. The second would need some changes to make better sense. 'Timing' isn't a countable noun, so the article 'a' is wrong.


It would be bad timing to talk about this now.

Talking about this now is bad timing.

link comment answered Feb 27 '13 at 12:45 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

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