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Sometime vs. some time

The one-word sometime refers to a vague, unspecified time—for example:

Thousands of dollars were allegedly stolen from the bank’s ATM vault sometime between Friday and Sunday, according to the MCSO. [Ukiah Daily Journal]

The session is due to start sometime next month though a date has yet to be finalized. [Wall Street Journal]

It’s also adjective meaning either former or longtime—for example:

Sometime D Magazine contributor Pam Kripke has taken to teaching English in a public school not so very far away. [D Magazine]

As a sometime adviser to Republicans, I’d like to offer a few guidelines to understanding their approach to economic policy. [NY Times]


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The two-word some time usually means quite a while—for example:

It had been some time since Rebecca and her husband, Scott, had attended a church. [Utica Observer Dispatch]

It also works where some is an adjective referring to time—for example:

I’ve been spending some time thinking about income inequality for a piece I’m writing. [Washington Post]

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Comments

  1. reardensteel says:

    In the second sense, isn’t it more like occasional?

    In both examples above, the subject is a current contributor or advisor, and it’s not known how long they’ve been doing those things.

    In fact, if you mean to say former, I prefer onetime.

  2. very helpful, thanks!

  3. Enrique Ricardo F. Montes says:

    “it had to happen some time” or should it be “sometime”?

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