Sometime vs. Some time – How to Use Each Correctly
What’s the Difference Between Sometime and Some Time?
These two words look and sound the same except for the space between the two words in some time. They also both relate to time. However, they do not have the same meaning.
Sometime is an adverb or adjective that means at an unspecified time.
- It was so nice to see you! We should do this again sometime.
Some time is an expression that means a while.
- You should get started. The procedure will take some time.
By understanding them each in context, you can avoid the error of confusing one for the other. Now, let’s go over a few ways you can use these words in your sentences.
Using Sometime in a Sentence
When to use sometime: Sometime can be either an adverb or an adjective that refers to some ambiguous time.
- I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be able to clean my room, but I promise I’ll do it sometime today. (adverb)
- The foreign exchange student was sad to leave her host family, but they had promised to visit her in her own country sometime. (adverb)
- The student couldn’t remember exactly when class started. He only remembered that it was sometime during the morning. (adverb)
- John is a sometime friend of my sister’s. They are sometimes friends but other times they are fighting, and consider themselves enemies. (adjective)
When a friend issues an invitation to hang out using sometime, as in We should hang out sometime, this invitation may be a polite way to end the conversation rather than a sincere invitation. If you really do want to hang out with someone it is better to give a more exact time, even if that is just next week or over the weekend.
Using Some Time in a Sentence
When to use some time: Some time is an expression that means a period of time. It has the connotation of a relatively long time.
- Is our son still out at that party with his friends? He’s been gone for some time. I’m starting to worry about him.
- It’s okay if you’re still feeling sad about the loss of a loved one. It can take some time for the grieving process to end.
Occasionally, some time refers to a little bit of time in expressions like I just need some time to fix this.
Remembering Sometime vs. Some Time
You can use the space, or lack of a space, between some and time to remember the difference between sometime and some time.
Just as sometime is a single word, it refers to a single point in time, albeit an ambiguous time in the future.
Likewise, just as some time is one meaning spread out over two words, it refers to one event spread out for a duration of time.
- Sometime during the fight, we saw Conor McGregor enter the arena. He didn’t have earbuds in and was dressed rather well. Don’t know what that means. –LA Times
- The Anabella Hotel at 1030 W. Katella Ave., will close sometime in mid-August and be replaced with a 600-room hotel. –OC Register
- Youth and old age are periods of relative happiness, while middle age is something of a rock bottom. Second, they generally agree that the bottom of that U hits some time in the early 50s. –LA Times (this is an example of a newspaper using some time incorrectly)
- And I’m starting to get a better feel for what that is now. And it’s taken me some time, it’s taken (general manager) John (Lynch) and me some time, because we got to know what our group was like, and it’s really been nothing against Ahmad. –USA Today
Quiz: Some Time vs. Sometime
Instructions: Fill in the blank with the correct word or expression, either some time or sometime, in the correct form.
- This was a wonderful first date. I’d love to see you again ______________.
- Do you remember what time dinner is happening at grandma’s house? I think it might have been _________________ around 5 o’clock.
- I finally found my lost dog after searching for him for _________________.
See answers below.
Should I use sometime or some time? Both sometime and some time share a similar spelling and both relate to time. However, there is an important distinction that means there is no overlap in their definitions.
- Sometime is an adverb or adjective that refers to a non-exact time.
- Some time is an expression that means a duration of time.
Be careful to know which definition is appropriate when choosing which of these to use.
Answers from Quiz
- some time