''Look at the time'' in American English

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


I already know that the phrase "look at the time" means "see/check what time it is". My question: does "look at the time" sound idiomatic in American English in my examples below?


a. Honey, look at the time for me please! I'm taking a shower and need to know what time it is.
b. Please look at the time and tell me. I am without my watch here.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In my experience, no.

    My impression is that "look at the time" generally implies "it's getting late" or "it could be getting late." (and if you look, that will be confirmed)
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    That works ... at least where the person addressed is not wearing a watch or in front of a clock and the speaker knows it.

    My wife would never say that to me because she knows that I wear a wrist watch and the iPhone in my pocket also has that information.

    She would just ask "what time is it?" :)
     

    SuK

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would use your proposed sentences using "see what time it is". Or you could use "Please check the time for me" when you are asking someone to literally look at a clock for you. Or simply "Could you tell me what time it is?" It's implied that the person would do what is necessary to find out the time, such as going to see or checking.

    As sdgraham pointed out "look at the time" is usually an exclamatory type of statement that indicates that it is getting late. Like "Would you look at the time! I have to get going."
     
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