Check out our updated Community
About asking time: what time do you have?
When I ask someone about time I would say what's the time or what time is it. But I just heard another  way to ask time: what time do you have? And people often answer it like this: I have 9 o'clock.

At first, I thought the sentence means when will you be free? even the answer also sounds weird. It seems not easy to understand especially the answer part. How do you think, guys?

Jul 20, 2016 3:12 PM
Comments · 7

In my experience, when someone says "what time do you have" they have a device that tells time, a clock or watch or phone, but they're uncertain about its accuracy. I might say "what time have you got?" If I had recently purchased a new watch, and I want to set the time accurately. Alternatively, I might ask a friend that if I was in a room with a clock that I suspected was off by a few minutes and wanted to know exactly what time it was. 

Basically, it's shorthand for "what time does your phone/watch/computer have?"

July 20, 2016
"Do you have the time?" is just a  sophisticated way to ask "what time is it?"  I hear this often because I wear a wristwatch.  I will sometimes answer "yes" or "for what" to make a joke because I agree that this is a weird way to ask a simple question.  You should know, however, that this is considered to be a very polite way to ask somebody what time it is. 
July 20, 2016
Thanks Sapphire! I've never thought about the regional saying thing.
July 20, 2016

I have lived in Jamaica and in the U.S.  What time do you have? is another way to ask for the time.  Some people who do not have the time may ask it that way if they want the time.  It just depends on the person. It may be a regional saying.  I have heard people in Jamaica use it.  That is a more british english (despite the accent), so maybe it is a more British saying. I don't know.


For example I wanted to go yesterday.  Simple and common but for some weird reason people in Louisiana say I wanted to go ON yesterday.  It is awkward and weird but it is just another way to say the same thing.  It may be coloquial to a specific location.

July 20, 2016

Actually I got some answers from google and was a little bit confused. I think I understand it now.

Thanks for all of you native English speakers!

July 20, 2016
Show More
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language