“Time” versus “Times”: When is time plural?

I have difficulty in using time and times correctly.

I understand that times may be used for some idiomatic purposes such as “at all times” or “of all times” or “some times”, although sometimes it will be in singular, as in “all the time”.

My concern is not really about the meanings of the particular idioms in my examples. Instead, I want to know if there is any general rule that I may refer to when I am deciding whether to use time or times, for an idiom, nouns, or likewise.


  1. How much time did you spend in Spain?

  2. He punched me three times.

In the first sentence time refers to the amount of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, decades, centuries, millennia and so on. This noun is uncountable.

In example (2) times refers to the number of occurrences. The number of instances that something happened. This is the same type of time as in “I asked her three times“. That question doesn’t mean, for example, I asked her for three hours! This noun is countable and usually used in the plural.

Source : Link , Question Author : Alan , Answer Author : Community

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