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I trying to understand this sentence but this sentence does not interpret well.

"Me time" is an expression which means time we have for ourselves.

How should I interpret the part after "which means"?

  • Try grouping it this way: "Me time" is an expression which means "time we have for ourselves". – Nate Eldredge Jul 6 '15 at 22:18
  • As I know time is noun also we noun. This is not gramatical – gmotree Jul 6 '15 at 23:34
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    "Time we have for ourselves" can be read as "Time that we have for ourselves". It's perfectly grammatical. "That" is often omitted in such sentences. Consider sentences like "The car I drive is a Honda". – Nate Eldredge Jul 6 '15 at 23:39
  • Thanks nate if you can would you let me know how can I find the ommited 'that'? in all of sentence? Is there any general rules? – gmotree Jul 6 '15 at 23:48
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    @NateEldredge , you should perhaps put that into an answer - seems you are the only one that understood OP ;-) – Stephie Jul 7 '15 at 7:31
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What this sentence is trying to say, is that this me time is the time we have for ourselves.

When someone says it's me time they mean they will be spending a certain amount of time on fun, relaxing, etc. things instead of work, family and other obligations that can be considered time-consuming or not very enjoyable.

  • Sander What I asking the question, is that time is noun also we noun . This is seeming non gramatical. – gmotree Jul 6 '15 at 23:37
  • @gmotree Nouns very very often modify other nouns. Office party, language lesson, railroad car, Hollywood movie ... there are tens of thousands of constructions like this. – StoneyB on hiatus Jul 6 '15 at 23:41
  • How can you think that the modify do beetween time and we? – gmotree Jul 6 '15 at 23:50
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This sentence contains three clauses.
 

The components of the main clause are:

"Me time" -- quoted noun phrase, subject.
is -- verb, copular, present tense, indefinite aspect, indicative mode.
an expression which means time we have for ourselves -- noun phrase, subject complement.

The keyword "expression" in the subject complement is modified by a relative clause.  The components of this relative clause are:

which -- relative pronoun, subject.
means -- verb, copular, present tense, indefinite aspect, indicative mode.
time we have for ourselves -- noun phrase, subject complement.

The keyword "time" in the subject complement is modified by another relative clause.  This innermost relative clause is a contact clause.  That simply means that the relative pronoun is omitted.  When the relative pronoun would be the direct object of its clause and the clause itself is not parenthetical, then the relative pronoun is optional.  Had it been written, the phrase would have been "time that we have for ourselves".

The innermost clause has the following components:
we -- personal pronoun, subject.
have -- verb, transitive, active voice, present tense, indefinite aspect, indicative mode.
[that] -- implied relative pronoun, direct object.
for ourselves -- prepositional phrase.
 

You can find brief descriptions of relative clauses (including contact clauses) here and here
 

The same sentiment can be expressed using a completely different word order:

Time [that] we have for ourselves is the meaning of the expression "me time".

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"me time" is not grammatical and substandard. It is an uneducated way of speaking.

Urban dictionary has an entry for "me time". Unfortunately those entries don't indicate what language level it is. I can't exactly say who speaks this way, but I would say it is street jargon of youngsters. Probably youngsters who dropped out of school.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=me+time

Reading the mini-dialogue in Urban dictionary again and thinking about "Naw, I need some me time" the idea comes up that "me time" is simply "time for me".

In the Urban dialogue "me time" is used as a compound noun and I think it should be spelled with a hyphen as me-time.

PS Now I have found where the above definition is from. It's from BBC Learning English: Rob: Yes, I do! That would be brilliant! Me time is an expression which means time we have for ourselves to do just what we want. I really do need some me time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/the-english-we-speak/ep-150623

This definition can be misunderstood. "we" is meant in a general sense and in a sentence as I need me-time you have to change the definition to "time when I can do what I want.

  • You are step wrong. What i asking is time we. – gmotree Jul 7 '15 at 6:52
  • Have you read the dialogue of Urban Dictionary? You should be able to deduce that " I need me-time ( time for me) means I need time for me where I have no tasks to do for others. There is nothing in it of "we" . You have to verify the explanations you find with original examples, then you will see that definitions or explanations are sometimes not correct. – rogermue Jul 7 '15 at 18:16

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