The other evening in class, one of our students asked about the difference between “Do you have time?” and “Do you have the time?”.
It’s a great question! The two expressions are similar, but they have completely different meanings.
Do you have the time?
This means, “What time is it?”
Angela (to Zoe): I think we should leave soon. What time is it?
Zoe: I’m not sure. I think it’s about five o’clock.
Angela (to Steve): Excuse me Steve, do you have the time?
Steve: It’s 5:45.
Zoe: Oh! We’d better hurry! If we don’t leave now, we’ll be late!
Do you have time?
This means, “Do you have enough time?” to do something specific.
Sid: I heard you saying that you read the online STORIES for extra practice. Do you like them?
Steve: Yes, I find them very helpful. Do you have time to practice every day? That’s the best way to benefit from them.