It seems like I can only use

Run out of time.

But how to describe there is no more something that is countable?

  • 4
    Think how many distraught nicotine addicts have wailed I've run out of cigarettes! I don't see what's bothering you about "countable" nouns in such contexts. May 24, 2019 at 15:45
  • @FumbleFingers: but I can't accept comment as an answer.
    – Rain
    May 25, 2019 at 0:51
  • I wasn't trying to answer the question so much as prompt you to explain why you might think "countability" is relevant here. I still have no idea why you think this is an issue. May 25, 2019 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


"Run out of time" and "have no time left" would get the same point across, but you're not counting a unit.

An example of this would be "you have five minutes left", but when time runs out you wouldn't usually say "you have no minutes left"

For another example we can use biscuits:

  • There are five biscuits left
  • There are no biscuits left
  • We have run out of biscuits

I hope this helps clarify the usage for you!

  • In your final sentence, cake is not being used as a countable noun. May 24, 2019 at 15:12
  • 1
    And we have run out of cakes if you want to give an actual example of run out of [countable noun]. ;) Although I think a different noun, like cookies (or even pieces of cake or servings of cake), would sound a bit more natural. May 24, 2019 at 15:33
  • 2
    It's always a sad day when one runs out of cakes.
    – Andrew
    May 24, 2019 at 16:31
  • 1
    @JasonBassford: There weren't enough written instances to do an NGram comparison chart, but Google Books thinks it has just 3 pages of results for run out of cakes. Compared to at least 10 pages for singular run out of cake. But you wouldn't often run out of cookie, even in the US. May 24, 2019 at 16:32
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Anyone who eats only a slice of cake has more self-control than I do. Which is why I try not to bake cake, because if I bake a cake, I eat a cake. :D
    – Andrew
    May 24, 2019 at 17:01

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