Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

only time will tell

time will tell
1) the result(s) of a present situation will become known sometime in the future
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    • time will tell if we made the right decision
  • Analysis
    The phrases 'time will tell', 'time alone will tell' or 'only time will tell' all mean that the result of something will only be established or be made clear at a point in the future. It is similar in meaning to 'wait and see' or 'we will find out soon enough'. This is an informal expression usually used in social contexts or spoken English.
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Emily has finished her treatment now. Time will tell whether it has worked or not.
    2. I am not sure if I answered the question on the exam correctly. I suppose time will tell.
    3. Time will tell if their marriage will last.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. I really don't know if this investment is a good decision. I guess only time will tell.
    2. Time will tell whether the product will be successful or not, but I think it has enormous potential.
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