What Does Take Your Time Mean?

Take Your Time Meaning

Definition: Don’t rush.

People use this expression to let someone politely know that there is no need to hurry.

Origin of Take Your Time

This exact origin of this expression is not clear.

Someone hearing take your time for the first time might think it sounds strange. How can a person have possession of time? In other words, how can time be my time or your time? However, a similar expression is take all the time you need. If you think of take your time as a shortened version of this, it makes perfect sense.

Grammatically, it is possible to substitute any possessive adjective between take and time. For example, she takes her time; he takes his take; they take their time, etc.

Examples of Take Your Time

taking your timeIn this example, two friends are cleaning up after a big party that they threw together.

Cassie: Wow! Our party made a huge mess. This is going to take forever to clean. Oh well. If we both work hard together, we should be able to clean everything up pretty quickly. Don’t you think so, Rebecca? Rebecca? Where are you? Why are you laying in bed reading a book instead of helping me clean?

Rebecca: Sorry! I thought you told me I could take my time. Remember? Last night I said that I was so tired and didn’t feel like cleaning, and you said, “Take your time, Rebecca.”

Cassie: That was last night! My parents are coming over to visit soon! I need you to stop taking your time and hurry up!

Rebecca: Okay, okay. Fine!

define take your timeIn the dialogue below, two men are discussing a soccer game that they are watching on TV.

Antonio: Everyone says that this new goalie is supposed to be amazing. However, I don’t see what is so special about him.

Igor: I know! It’s only 20 minutes into the game, and the other team has already scored two goals on him.

Antonio: If he really is as good as people say he is, he sure is taking his time proving it!

Igor: Hopefully he’s just nervous and will start playing better soon!

More Examples

This excerpt is a quote about a relief fund for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

  • “I’m going to take my time, make sure that I work with local organizations. That we do it right here in the city so that money goes straight to the people here of Houston who need it the most.’’ –USA Today

This excerpt is from an article about a famous actor who was flying his plane when he almost collided with another aircraft.

  • When an air traffic controller told the Star Wars and Indiana Jones star to take his time getting the number from his pilot’s license, remarking it isn’t a big deal, Ford responded: “It’s a big deal for me.” –USA Today


The phrase take your time is an expression that means no need to hurry.