No me da tiempo

Recently we talked about the expression tener tiempo. Now let’s look at some additional expressions with tiempo. We’ll also consider some uses of time in English that can’t be translated with tiempo.

No me da tiempo

Me da is used frequently in Spanish for things we say in English via the formula I followed by a specific verb: Me da pena. I’m embarrassed (by something). Me da miedo. I’m afraid (of it). Me dio hambre. I’m hungry. The same goes for tiempo.

  • No me da tiempo. I don’t have (enough) time (to do that).
  • Apenas me dio tiempo para tomar el camión y venirme. I barely had time to catch the bus and get her. That was cutting it close. (telenovela dialogue)
Graffiti, Iztacalco, Mexico City

Graffiti, Iztacalco, Mexico City

No particular entity is responsible for the lack of time. If you must imagine a subject here for da, consider it the situation.

Dale tiempo

The expression dale tiempo (al tiempo) means: Give it time, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Literally, give time to time. Hay que darle tiempo al tiempo. Be patient.

Hacer tiempo

The expression hacer tiempo has two common uses:

  • ¿Qué tiempo haces? How long does it take you (to get there, to commute, to run 10K)?
  • Hacer tiempo para hacer ejercicio. Make time for exercise. Set aside time.

Tiempo pasado

You can humorously say tiempo pasado, literally past tense, to correct someone’s timeline.

Trabajas para él. You work for him.
No, trabajé para él. ¡Tiempo pasado! No, I worked for him. Past tense! Not anymore.

Tiempo completo

A full-time job is un trabajo de tiempo completo. A part-time job would be un trabajo de tiempo parcial. If you need to be specific and say half-time, there is de medio tiempo. To refer to permanent versus positions, the following expressions come in handy: de planta, permanent; and de prueba, temporary, on a trial basis.


The following English expressions with time can’t be translated with tiempo.

  • What time is it? ¿Qué hora es? ¿Qué horas son?
  • The last time. La última vez. The times I went. Las veces que fui.
  • They opened up more time slots. Abrieron más horarios.
  • I had a great time. Me la pasé excelente. The la here doesn’t have a referent.

Related Entries

Expressions with tiempo
Even more expressions with tiempo