light the barbecue in plenty of time

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
"Make sure you light the barbecue in plenty of time"

What does this sentence mean? "in plenty of time" Lighting the barbecue much earlier than the barbecue event starts?
 
  • zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It is just a dictionary example

    "Make sure you light the barbecue in plenty of time and I'll prepare the food."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Make sure you light the barbecue in plenty of time"

    What does this sentence mean? "in plenty of time" Lighting the barbecue much earlier than the barbecue event starts?
    Yes, for a wood or charcoal barbecue, you must let the fire burn down before you can start cooking, usually 15 minutes to an hour.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So is "in plenty of time" a set phrase and it might be used in different contexts? It will always mean 'earlier'.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, for a wood or charcoal barbecue, you must let the fire burn down before you can start cooking, usually 15 minutes to an hour.
    :thumbsup:

    It will always mean 'earlier'.
    Yes, but it means more than that. If you have a second thing that depends on a first thing, finishing the first part before the second part is ready to start is called "finishing in time". Finishing with extra time to spare (well more than the minimum) is called finishing in plenty of time.

    "Make sure you light the barbecue in plenty of time"

    The coals have to burn for awhile before they are ready for cooking on. So that first part has to be finished (getting the coals ready) before the second part can begin (the cooking). You have to light the barbecue early enough that that process will finish before the intended cooking time arrives. So it means "Make sure you light the barbecue early enough so it definitely has enough time to be ready before the cooking starts.

    Will you be in time for lunch? Yes, I will be there in plenty of time.
    Yes, I will finish the process of traveling to the location where the lunch is well before the scheduled beginning of the lunch.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    "Make sure you light the barbecue in plenty of time"

    And if I say: "Make sure you light the barbecue (well) beforehand" or "Make sure you light the barbecue earlier" will I sound unnatural?
     
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