it was no time

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ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

At about 11 p.m., we heard, far in the distance, a low-pitched staccato rumbling. We ran to a rise in the road and from there we saw, as if it were some mirage, a vast French truck approaching us. It was no time for half measures. My friend sat down by the roadside and hugged his leg, and looked as much like a road accident as nature and circumstances permitted.

(This comes from my school book and I can't find a link. The background was that "we" were left on a deserted country road.)

I don't understand the meaning of the bold part. "half measure" means "something that is done in a way that is not complete or is only partly effective." They are not good measures. If it were "there is no time for good measures", I could understand.

Thanks in advace!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    If the narrator and his friend took "half measures" they would not succeed in getting the driver of the French truck to stop and help them. They must make a great effort to get the driver to stop. "Half measures" means something like "small efforts". So this is not a time for small efforts or half measures. Instead, it is a time for great effort.

    Does that explanation make sense to you, ironman2012?
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Can I understand it this way:"It was no time for half measures" means "it should not be half measures" ?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Can I understand it this way:"It was no time for half measures" means "it should not be half measures" ?
    That is pretty close, ironman. Maybe you will understand this version: This was a bad time to take half measures. They needed to make a great effort.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It was no time
    I understand it as they should have acted quickly.
    In this structure, "a time" refers to an occasion not a duration.
    There was no time for walking. This is what you are thinking of - there was a short amount of time.
    It was no time for walking. The occasion called for something other than walking. Perhaps it is because the time is short, but it could be because they were in deep water and must swim instead of walk.
     
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