Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. LwyrFirat's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 343
    #1

    Time is of the essence

    Time is of the essence of this agreement.

    What does this statement mean.
    Thanks.


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 364
    #2

    Re: Time is of the essence

    The essence of something is the most important, vital or central property of something. So in 'Time is of the essence of this agreement' they are saying that the timing is the most important part of the agreement. For example, if you need to fly to New York tomorrow, its of no use if I supply a ticket dated a month away.


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 62
    #3

    Re: Time is of the essence

    Quote Originally Posted by thod00 View Post
    The essence of something is the most important, vital or central property of something. So in 'Time is of the essence of this agreement' they are saying that the timing is the most important part of the agreement. For example, if you need to fly to New York tomorrow, its of no use if I supply a ticket dated a month away.
    Dear thod00
    I feel that this sentenceis sort of odd and must be " Time is the essence of this agreement" or " time is of the essence in this agreement". What do you think?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 1,032
    #4

    Re: Time is of the essence

    I know that the common way to say it here in Canada is "time is of the essence"................

    However, the correct way is "time is the essence" and I will let the linguists explain the grammar.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #5

    Re: Time is of the essence

    Quote Originally Posted by Searching for language View Post
    I know that the common way to say it here in Canada is "time is of the essence"................

    However, the correct way is "time is the essence" and I will let the linguists explain the grammar.
    I'm not sure why you think omitting the 'of' is more correct. The 'of' here is like the 'of' in 'of the nature of', 'of the order of'.

    The phrase was originally used by lawyers framing contracts. Time was not the essence of these contracts. Time was just a crucial factor in the delivery of the contract. "I will pay X for Y, as long as you deliver it by T; if you deliver late, the deal is off". Lawyers being lawyers, they didn't write 'if you deliver late, the deal is off', they wrote 'time is of the essence [of the contract'] - harking back to a more etymologically sensible use of 'the essence' related to the Latin root esse - 'to be'. 'Time is of the essence' meant 'the deal is defined in terms of time'

    I agree that, considering the way the phrase has come to be used today to mean 'jolly important', the 'of' looks out of place. But it's not.

    b

Similar Threads

  1. in time / on time
    By maggie74 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 19-May-2008, 12:42
  2. There was a dream Long time ago
    By sympathy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 28-Feb-2008, 06:33
  3. in time / on time
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2008, 14:45
  4. turn, turn, turn
    By Nefertiti in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Oct-2007, 18:16

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •