By Quandary

2011-05-26 12:14:59 8 Comments

I need the correct English word for the German expression (zeitlicher) Abstand. Abstand means "distance", and zeitlich means "in time".

The "distance" between building maintenance dates is about ten days.

Would "lag/spacing" be correct, as Langenscheidt translates it? I doubt it.

My guess would be "interval", but it sounds a bit too mathematical to me.


@Thursagen 2011-05-26 12:22:28

When referring to 'distance in time', the best word is:


There is also:


@Unreason 2011-05-26 12:44:22

+1, and you can reassure OP that interval is not strictly technical ("interval between contractions")

@Quandary 2013-07-19 13:14:13

It should be noted that "interval" to me suggest some kind of recurrence. That's fine for my use case, but it's not perfect in the sense that "distance" does not necessarily imply recurrence. "time span" would be a term that fits as a better general translation.

@rest_day 2011-05-26 14:06:18

Wouldn't time do in this case?

As in time between building maintenance dates is about ten days.

Update: If it is a column title and not a sentence as the OP mentioned in the comments, either Interval or Time Interval would be a better choice.

@zzzzBov 2011-05-26 17:56:32

duration or period

The duration between building maintenance dates is about ten days.


The period between building maintenance dates is about ten days.

Alternatives include:

  • time
  • time span
  • interval
  • term
  • spell
  • interim
  • tide
  • space
  • stretch
  • spread
  • gap
  • interlude
  • opening
  • pause

@Quandary 2013-07-19 13:10:34

I like time span, because it's the only reasonable alternative that doesn't imply some kind of recurrence.

@Muhd 2014-01-28 19:26:53

@Quandary "Duration" doesn't imply recurrence either.

@tim_hutton 2011-05-26 15:26:14

"timespan" ?

@JeffSahol 2011-05-26 20:58:52

Give yourself -1 if you're a programmer, @tim_hutton :)

@tim_hutton 2011-05-27 09:13:26

@JeffSahol: I am a programmer but I don't know what you mean. :(

@JeffSahol 2011-05-27 12:23:00

Ah, should have said .NET developer:

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