What is the best way to say, "It takes time"?

I see in one place, "ça prend du temps." But itrans & google say, "Il faut du temps." and somewhere else I have seen, "Il met du temps."

Are they all the same? If not what is the difference between them? What is the most common form of these expressions?

3 Answers 3


What is the best way to say, "It takes time"?

"Ça prend du temps" is entirely valid and is a literal translation of "it takes times". It's the most used.

"Il faut du temps" is closer to "You/It need/s time" meaning that you will be needing time but it can also be substituted for "Ça prend du temps".

"Il met du temps." means that "he" is taking/putting time towards something. I have also heard it in the context that somebody is late "Il met du temps à arriver".

  • 2
    La réponse est complète. Pour une tâche, j'aime bien aussi l'adjectif « chronophage » mais la valeur ajoutée est trop faible pour faire une réponse séparée (peu usité, probablement inutilement compliqué pour un débutant).
    – Chop
    Nov 4, 2015 at 8:19

you also see "ça met du temps", "ça demande du temps".

"il met du temps" is totally different since it refers to the time a given person is taking, while "ça" is impersonal (and could apply to delays not depending especially of somebody).


"Ça prend du temps"

"Il faut du temps" is closer to "It needs time" and "Il met du temps" is "He puts time" which doesn't make a lot of sense.

  • 2
    "il met du temps à arriver" when you are waiting for someone is very common.
    – Random
    Nov 4, 2015 at 8:12

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