I was watching a movie on my computer and I had to go the bathroom and then my phone rang so I picked it up and talk to a caller. I was unaware I didn't pause the movie on the computer and it turned out that I talked much longer than I tough because when I came back the movie was almost in the middle of its playtime.

I described this in my head in my native language (which is Polish). Verbatim translation would be something like:

Oh look how much of the movie already went by.

Is this a correct phrase describing the fact of how much playtime already happened? or how much of it already elapsed? What would be the most natural way to describe it?

  • Depends on your aims. Are you looking for how to describe that situation naturally, or are you interested in a appropriate phrase in the place of "went by"? I ask because to describe that situation, my first choices wouldn't use that phrasing.
    – gotube
    Jul 5, 2022 at 22:32
  • I just want to know what I can say to a person e.g my girlfriend, if we went to the kitchen and also forgot to pause the movie. What would you say to her in place of " Ohh look how much movie already went by" Jul 5, 2022 at 22:35
  • 1
    "Went by" is a pretty decent choice. I might say "Look how much of the movie's already played."
    – cruthers
    Jul 5, 2022 at 22:47
  • 1
    Incidentally, playing time would be a better expression. Playtime is a time for children to play. Jul 6, 2022 at 7:54
  • I knew it was ringing... Jul 6, 2022 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


I'd say either:

Look how much of the movie has already gone by/played.


"Look how much of the movie went by/played while I was away".

Note that I use present perfect when I don't mention the past time, but I used simple past when I do.

"Elapsed" is correct, but too formal for talking to your girlfriend.

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