HomeQ&AWaste time - lose time

Waste time - lose time


On this thread the expression

perdieron el tiempo

was translated as "they lost time" but all members except mi novio (kiss ) .

Well, perder el tiempo is waste time, and perder tiempo is lose time.

However, maybe I am not right thinking that you cannot say lose time here.

I would use lose time in the following situation:

I wanted to get from Madrid in Segovia in 2 hours, but it took me 3!! I lost a lot of time in a terrible traffic jam just outside Madrid.

Perdí mucho tiempo en el atasco.

My friend says I am wasting my time telling everybody: don't use personal pronouns! jeje

....que pierdo el tiempo en decirles a todo el mundo....

The difference in Spanish is the use of the article, in English we use a different verb.


updated MAY 21, 2010
edited by 00494d19
posted by 00494d19
This was new to me, Heidita. Thanks. - luz_72, MAY 19, 2010
"but" should be "by" in "but all members except mi novio" - scottdoherty, MAY 20, 2010
Heidi I wrote "having wasted" but as far as I know I am not tu novio. Goyo has that Honour. - ian-hill, MAY 21, 2010
But in fact they had "lost" time because it was "compulsory" service and therefore outside of his control. - ian-hill, MAY 21, 2010

8 Answers


To waste time - is of your own doing.

To lose time is outside your control.

updated MAY 21, 2010
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
Ahh....but someone else can waste my time. - --Mariana--, MAY 19, 2010
Only if you allow them to. - ian-hill, MAY 19, 2010
I don't know because you can also say that you you need to "make up for lost time" which could easily be a result of a willful action or not. What do you think? - Izanoni1, MAY 19, 2010
or make up for the time you wasted! - LateToDinner, MAY 19, 2010
or "make up for the time that WAS wasted" which seems to, at the very least, deflect from any personal responsibility in the time that was lost/wasted - Izanoni1, MAY 19, 2010
I suggest the word "make" changes things to being personal in the examples above. - ian-hill, MAY 19, 2010
100% agree with Ian. Marianne, if someone else "wastes" my time it's still "lost" to my perception. - geofc, MAY 20, 2010
corto y claro;) - 00494d19, MAY 21, 2010

I believe that in the context of the time being no longer available, waste or lose is pretty interchangeable.

The biggest difference, in my opinion, is in how the time got away. If it was by a willful action on ones part, waste is most commonly used. I wasted my time reading that book! ...watching that movie! ...telling those people!

And when something outside of your control is costing you time it results in time lost. You will lose time changing planes in ... I lost time because I didn't have the right tools.

And if anyone wants to argue that is fine because it will prove they are wasting their time but I am sneaking away so that I don't lose any more time! wink

updated MAY 20, 2010
edited by LateToDinner
posted by LateToDinner
Very good!!!! - Nicole-B, MAY 20, 2010
I meant to say a "very good use of your time"...well put! - Nicole-B, MAY 20, 2010
jeje, well, this is what I thought. - 00494d19, MAY 20, 2010

I mean, as everybody used lost time in the alvite thread, I was doubting.

Avite said "....perdido un tiempo precioso..."

Many of us who participated in that thread really didn't know how to translate "perder un tiempo" as "to waste time." In English it would make sense to say that Avite "lost a precious time" of his life.

But it makes perfect sense now that you point out that with the article it's translated as "to waste time" and without the article it would be "to lose time."

updated MAY 19, 2010
edited by --Mariana--
posted by --Mariana--
Do you think finding the original thread would help me understand this one? - LateToDinner, MAY 19, 2010
sorry, I forgot to add the link, it is there now;) - 00494d19, MAY 19, 2010

The biggest difference, in my opinion, is in how the time got away.

This is so true. In English, we do use different verbs to convey this thought. It is interesting that this is conveyed by use of articles in Spanish.

Either way, time is "lost". I think that when we "waste time" as said in English, the guilt is on us. When we "lose" time, usually this is not something that we could have controlled. I am frustrated with others when I "lose" time, but frustrated with myself when I "waste" time.

However, this just occurred to me....Has anyone ever had to "waste" time or "kill" time because they were too early for something? wink

I was a half hour early for the party, so I killed some time walking around the mall.

How do you express "kill time" in Spanish? Is this colloquial?

updated MAY 20, 2010
edited by Nicole-B
posted by Nicole-B
Exactly Nicole - that is why we say "to kill time" and not "to waste time" when we have no other option. - ian-hill, MAY 20, 2010

De acuerdo con Ian. to waste time is when you could be doing something else, you're "misusing" the time. It could be spent better. To lose time is when you have no control over it, but something delays you.

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by socceryo3
good one, yes, I would definitely go with waste time here! - 00494d19, MAY 20, 2010


You're examples are perfect. Without the article it's "lose time" and with the article it's "waste time."

Funny, I would have used the verb "malgastar" for wasting time, but I see from an online search that the verb is for wasting resources, money, etc.

updated MAY 19, 2010
posted by --Mariana--
I mean, as everybody used lost time in the alvite thread, I was doubting.... - 00494d19, MAY 19, 2010
Ah, but Marianne, time is a very valuable resource! - Delores--Lindsey, MAY 19, 2010
In the Alvite example he "lost" time - he personally did not "waste" it. - ian-hill, MAY 19, 2010

How do you express "kill time" in Spanish? Is this colloquial?

It sure iswink

matar el tiempo...igualito que en inglésraspberry

updated MAY 21, 2010
posted by 00494d19

¿Nosotros no debemos usar pronombres personal? ¿Tú estás seguro? wink

updated MAY 20, 2010
posted by 008f2974
huh?? - 00494d19, MAY 19, 2010
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