I've created a table which has three columns and five rows.

Each row stands for a specific task.

One of these columns, the third column, is dedicated to the time that I have spent to fulfill the task's obligations.

Now what should I write at the header of the third column?

My options are:

1) spent time

2) consumed time

3) taken time

Additional info:

I know it is very common to say "It takes me X hours to finish the task". However, I need a very compact phrase that exactly conveys the same information. Thanks

  • 1
    Of the three options, "spent time" is the best one (you could also use "time spent"), IMHO, but native speakers might come up with better phrases. Dec 27 '15 at 15:17
  • I agree with @CopperKettle although I'm not a native either. "consumed" feels like it was wasted time. Another viable alternative: duration? Dec 27 '15 at 15:35
  • @laureapresa I think duration suggest something happening constantly over a period of time. However, the task, the mentioned row of the table, can be done in a series of works. The focus is how much time I spend doing that task, no matter how much the works were consistent and continuous.
    – Cardinal
    Dec 27 '15 at 15:40
  • 2
    Whatever verb you choose (spent, consumed, used), it sounds better to say hours ___ed. I'm trying to think of why, exactly, and I think it is because this is essentially a kind of noun phrase: X hours spent (doing the task).
    – stangdon
    Dec 27 '15 at 16:28
  • 1
    ET (short for Elapsed Time)
    – lurker
    Dec 27 '15 at 22:51

Headings for a column showing the amount of time it took to complete a task might be

Time Spent
Task Time
Completed Time
Billable Time

in the appropriate units of measure

If one included an additional column of

Allotted time

it would be possible to also track the accuracy of project forecasts.

The ordering of Time+verb or adj+Time is usual among native speakers.

A succinct way of expressing this amount to a client might be to use completion time or time to complete.

That will take 5 hours to complete.
5 hours completion time

  • Let's hear it for units of measure, as you bring up. Just "hours" would probably be fine if nothing else on the chart is also being measured in hours.
    – lauir
    Jan 7 '16 at 5:15

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