idiom: to be just a matter of time


For today’s entry I’d like to teach the idiom: “just a matter of time”. We use this when we want to say that we think something is definitely going to happen in the future. We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but all we need to do is wait and we feel sure it will happen. Here are some example sentences using it.

It’s just a matter of time before my sister and her husband get a divorce. They’re really unhappy with each other.

It’s only a matter of time until my chair breaks. It’s already starting to get really unstable.

Mark Jones is such a good actor. I’m sure he’ll win an Oscar one day. It’s just a matter of time.

Please note that we can substitute the word “only” for “just”, as in my second example. In addition, either of the words “before” or “until” can be used after this expression.

Also, we often use this expression with “before” or “until” to form one sentence, as in my first two examples. However, we can also use it as a single sentence which follows the explanation of the situation, as in my third example.

It’s important to understand the timing when we use this expression. It’s not usually used to predict things in the short term. Therefore, if we think something will happen in a few hours or within a day or two, we don’t use this idiom. Instead, it’s usually used to predict things that might take weeks, months, or even years to happen.


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