There aren’t enough hours in the day.


accomplish: to complete

errand(s): a small task that usually involves visiting different locations

have a hard time: experience difficulty

maternity: This an adjective used to describe women who have children or are going to have children.

nightmare: a bad experience; a bad dream

obstetrician: a doctor who works with women who are pregnant

outfit: clothing

routine: regular; part of a schedule

strapped: restrained

ultrasound: technology that allows medical staff to look inside a person’s body


"There aren’t enough hours in the day," complained Sarah. She was late to work again, and traffic was a nightmare. She had a long list of things to get accomplished for the day, but she knew she was going to have a hard time getting everything done.

Sitting behind Sarah was her two-year-old son, Jacob, strapped into a car seat. Even though she had left her apartment fifteen minutes earlier than she normally did, Sarah was late getting to both her son’s daycare and her job.

She had so many things to do! First, she had to drop her son off at daycare. Then she needed to go to work. After work she had to see a doctor. Then she had to do some errands later that evening.

Most important on her list of things to do was a visit to the doctor. Sarah is pregnant. She needed to see her obstetrician after work for a routine checkup. Pregnant women need to go to the doctor regularly as their babies develop. She had an ultrasound planned, and she needed to ask her doctor a few questions.

She also needed to do some shopping. She had to buy a maternity outfit because she was getting noticeably larger. Then she wanted to stop off at the grocery store. She wasn’t able to go to the grocery store over the weekend. She needed to buy some basic things such as milk, eggs, bread, and some meat. Sarah likes shopping when there are few people at the store, so she was planning on going later in the evening.

Where does such a busy person find the time to do anything besides work and take care of family obligations? There are only so many hours in a day!

Note: Two expressions in this reading exercise mean that there is a limited amount of time:

  • There aren’t enough hours in the day.
  • There are only so many hours in a day.

These popular expressions mean about the same thing: We don’t have enough time.

Practice your reading with this recorder:



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