pass the time vs waste the time

Kross

Senior Member
Korean
Hello, everyone

I'd like to inquire about the difference in nuance between these two expressions, pass the time and waste the time. This is from an exercise and it consists of a dialogue like below.

A: Why did you buy so many comic books?
B: They're just to _______ the time.

Of all four choices given, I cannot pick up the right one between pass and waste. The book says that pass is the only correct answer. I don't get why waste is wrong.
 
  • pops91710

    Senior Member
    English, AE
    Passing time and wasting time are two different things. Wasting time means using up time unwisely whereas passing time can be done while doing something worthwhile such as reading, chatting, etc.
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I would not say "waste the time" in the same way I might say "pass the time" - however I would use expressions like "wasting time", "waste of time", etc.
     

    Kross

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Wasting time means using up time unwisely
    Reading comic books can be thought of as wasting time? They don't usually many lessons to be learned from.

    I would use expressions like "wasting time", "waste of time", etc.
    This might be a silly question. Why can't the definite article, the, be used in waste time? Time here looks like the same as that in pass the time. Both seems to indicate the same period of time.
     

    waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    This might be a silly question. Why can't the definite article, the, be used in waste time? Time here looks like the same as that in pass the time. Both seems to indicate the same period of time.
    It is not a silly question, but unfortunately it is one of those language situations where there is not a logical answer - perhaps someone else will come along with a better explanation (or will disagree), but to me, "pass the time" simply sounds correct here and "waste the time" does not.

    I read comic books to pass the time. :tick:
    I read comic books to waste the time. :cross:

    Reading comic books is a waste of time. :tick:
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top