In the page of 'timekeeper' in thefreedictionary, one of the explanations goes as follows.

One who keeps records of the hours worked by employees.

The expression 'the hours worked by employees' sounds quite weird to me. Is there such an expression as 'work the hours'? If not, which I think is the case, how can there be the hours worked by someone?

By the way, can I say the following 2 substitutions?

One who keeps records of the working hours of employees.

One who keeps records of the work-hours of employees.

  • I think it's a kind of whiz-deletion: think of it as "the hours which are worked by employees."
    – stangdon
    Nov 5, 2022 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


It's quite correct.

"Hours worked" is the same type of construction as "cakes baked", or "books read".

The first of your substitutions is a little ambiguous, because it could be taken to mean that the person involved is keeping records of the contracted (or usual) working hours of different types of employee (either across one company, one industry, or the whole economy).

The second substitution is saying much the same as the first.

To give examples:

"The manager recorded the hours worked by all employees." - The manager kept a record of the actual hours worked by each employee.

"The researcher kept records of the working hours of all grades in all departments" - The researcher kept records of the contracted (or actual average) working hours within the organisation.

  • There are constructions as "cakes baked", or "books read", because there are 'to bake cakes' and 'to read books'. Is there such an expression as 'to work hours'?
    – Michael
    Nov 5, 2022 at 12:29
  • 3
    Yes, although I would say 'work hours' would be quite unusual, whereas 'work long hours', 'work unusual hours', or 'work antisocial hours' are absolutely natural. Probably because without some qualifier, 'hours' is superfluous. "I work hours at the bakery" means exactly the same as "I work at the bakery", so the word 'hours' would usually seem odd, (but not incorrect).
    – PRL75
    Nov 5, 2022 at 12:50
  • I absolutely agree the (potential) distinction between records of the hours worked by employees (actual hours worked), and records of the working hours of employees - unlikely phrasing anyway, but that might well be understood to mean contracted / usual working hours for various [types of] workers. Nov 5, 2022 at 17:20

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