# what is the earliest/latest we can leave after working

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#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
If I get hired at a company and they tell me that the shift window (I don't know what to say here but I have heard 'shift window' a lot) starts from 10 AM to 10 PM then, can I ask them "what is the earliest/latest we can leave after work" or "How long will we have to work to leave for home"?

Can somebody say this as well "The maximum/minimum you will have to work there is until 6 PM" or "The maximum/minimum you will have to work there is for eight hours"?

#### Tdol

##### Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Use this one. You could also say leave work.

What is the earliest/latest we can leave after work?

Forget the last pair of sentences. Say not before 6pm/no later than 6pm and cut out all the stuff at the beginning.

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Are you trying to find out how long one shift is? That's not the same as asking what the earliest time you can go home is. It makes more sense for the company to tell you how long a standard shift and tell you what the earliest start time is. A simple question would be "What's the shift pattern/setup?" Asking "What's the earliest time I can go home?" makes you sound like a very unenthusiastic employee!

A shift is eight hours long and you can arrive any time between 10am and 10pm.

#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
Are you trying to find out how long one shift is? That's not the same as asking what the earliest time you can go home is. It makes more sense for the company to tell you how long a standard shift and tell you what the earliest start time is. A simple question would be "What's the shift pattern/setup?" Asking "What's the earliest time I can go home?" makes you sound like a very unenthusiastic employee!

A shift is eight hours long and you can arrive any time between 10am and 10pm.

What do you mean by "Shift pattern/setup"?

#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
Use this one. You could also say leave work.

What is the earliest/latest we can leave after work?

Forget the last pair of sentences. Say not before 6pm/no later than 6pm and cut out all the stuff at the beginning.

Sorry I don't understand.

#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
Are you trying to find out how long one shift is? That's not the same as asking what the earliest time you can go home is. It makes more sense for the company to tell you how long a standard shift and tell you what the earliest start time is. A simple question would be "What's the shift pattern/setup?" Asking "What's the earliest time I can go home?" makes you sound like a very unenthusiastic employee!

A shift is eight hours long and you can arrive any time between 10am and 10pm.

Can I say "If I got selected at a company how long the shifts would be?" or "How long are the shifts at that company"?

#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
Are you trying to find out how long one shift is? That's not the same as asking what the earliest time you can go home is. It makes more sense for the company to tell you how long a standard shift and tell you what the earliest start time is. A simple question would be "What's the shift pattern/setup?" Asking "What's the earliest time I can go home?" makes you sound like a very unenthusiastic employee!

A shift is eight hours long and you can arrive any time between 10am and 10pm.

Can we say "How long are the shifts at a company?"

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Can we say "How long are the shifts at a company?"

You can't use "a company", no. That would suggest that every company in the world has the same shift pattern.

#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
You can't use "a company", no. That would suggest that every company in the world has the same shift pattern.

Can I say "If I got selected at AMX, how long the shifts would be?" or "How long are the shifts at AMX"? Can we also say "What is the shift pattern at AMX" with no change in meaning?

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Can I say "If I [STRIKE]got[/STRIKE] were selected to work at AMX, how long ​would the shifts would be?" or "How long are the shifts at AMX?" Can we also say "What is the shift pattern at AMX?" with no change in meaning?

With my changes, they're all grammatical but the last two don't necessarily mean the same thing.

"How long are the shifts?" refers only to the length of time you will spend working in one shift. Possible answers are things like "They're all eight hours" or "Some shifts are eight hours, some are twelve, and night shifts are sixteen".

"What is the shift pattern?" could be answered with something like "You will work five eight-hour shifts in any seven-day period", or "You will work Monday to Thursday in your first week, then you'll have four days off, then you'll work six straight days, followed by five days off" etc. My second suggested answer is just an example of a shift pattern. Different companies have different patterns.

#### tufguy

##### VIP Member
With my changes, they're all grammatical but the last two don't necessarily mean the same thing.

"How long are the shifts?" refers only to the length of time you will spend working in one shift. Possible answers are things like "They're all eight hours" or "Some shifts are eight hours, some are twelve, and night shifts are sixteen".

"What is the shift pattern?" could be answered with something like "You will work five eight-hour shifts in any seven-day period", or "You will work Monday to Thursday in your first week, then you'll have four days off, then you'll work six straight days, followed by five days off" etc. My second suggested answer is just an example of a shift pattern. Different companies have different patterns.

#### emsr2d2

##### Moderator
Staff member
Thanks a lot, [STRIKE]EMS[/STRIKE] emsr2d2, for this reply. I was also confused about the answers. Thanks for telling me the answers as well.

See above.

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