The phrase "in the meantime" refers to the intervening period of time between two events. It essentially means "during the time that something else is happening" or "while waiting for another event to occur." It's often used to suggest useful ways to spend time while waiting for something else to finish or happen. Whether you're waiting for your coffee to brew or for the next bus, there's always something you can do "in the meantime."
"In the meantime" refers to the intervening time between two events. If you plan to do something "in the meantime," it means you will do it while waiting for another thing to occur. It suggests making use of time effectively instead of simply waiting.
Let's delve into its key meanings and usage:
The expression "in the meantime" has its roots in old English and was first recorded in the late 14th century. Originally, it was written as two words "meantime," where "mean" referred to 'middle' or 'intermediate,' and "time" referred to a 'period.' Over the years, the phrase has evolved to "meantime," signifying 'interim' or 'intervening period.'
"And in the meantime, do you not certainly know, that timely and serious reflection upon them is, through divine grace, the only way to prevent your ruin?"
- The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul ... with a Devout Meditation, 1815
To help you understand when and how to use this phrase, let's look at some examples from various contexts:
The phrase "in the meantime" often appears in popular culture, generally indicating a period of waiting or filling in time.
Let's check out a few examples:
There are several other phrases and idioms that can be used as alternatives to "in the meantime."
Here are a few of them:
"In the meantime" is a phrase that denotes the period of time between two events, or while an event is in progress.
You can use "in the meantime" to refer to something that is happening or will happen during the interval of two other events. For example, "Get well soon; in the meantime, I'll take care of your assignments."
"In the meantime" can be used in both formal and informal contexts. It is not considered overly formal or informal, making it a versatile phrase.
Yes, in most cases, "in the meantime" and "meanwhile" can be used interchangeably as they both refer to something that happens at the same time as another event.
No, "in the meantime" can refer to events in the past, present, or future. It's about the time between two events, regardless of when those events occur.
"In the meantime" is a phrase composed of three separate words. It should not be written as a single word or hyphenated.
Yes, "in the meantime" can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence, depending on the context.
Yes, "in the meantime" can be used in a negative context, but the negativity comes from the actions or events being described, not from the phrase itself.
When "in the meantime" begins a sentence, it is usually followed by a comma. However, when used in the middle or end of a sentence, a comma is not always necessary. The placement of a comma depends on the overall sentence structure.
Some synonyms for "in the meantime" include "meanwhile," "in the interim," "during this time," and "until then."
"In the meantime" represents a period of time between two events or during the course of an event. It's used to fill the gap between two actions and is a useful phrase for bridging events in storytelling or in providing instructions.
Here's a quick recap:
Understanding the phrase "in the meantime" can help improve your conversational and written English by providing a succinct way to link events or actions.