Sometimes, we might combine a few words that don’t look like they belong together, but when they’re arranged in the correct way, they have a new meaning. We call these idioms, and “in a timely fashion” is one such example, so let’s look at it a bit further.
What Does “In A Timely Fashion” Mean?
“In a timely fashion” means to do something quickly and in a reasonable time frame. It gives someone a sense of urgency when you tell them to complete a task in a timely fashion. You may also hear it referred to as “timely manner.” Both of these phrases are interchangeable.
The definition of “timely fashion,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is split into two parts. First, “timely” means “happening at the best possible moment” while “fashion” means “a way of doing things.”
When we put the two words together, it ends up meaning “a way of doing things in the best possible moment.” That also translates to the more official meaning of “timely fashion,” which means to do something quickly and within a reasonable time frame.
How Do You Use “Timely Fashion” In A Sentence?
Let’s go through a few examples of when we might see “timely fashion” used in a sentence. Each of these examples will show you something different that might occur when we say the phrase.
Once you’ve mastered these sayings, you’ll be in a better position to start using the phrase yourself. It’s a good one to have in your vocabulary.
- I expect you to complete these tasks in a timely fashion.
- You arrived in timely fashion, as expected.
- You should complete all of this in a timely fashion; otherwise, I’ll have to deduct your pay.
- If you could all arrive tomorrow morning in a timely fashion, that would be great.
- You should form a queue in a timely fashion to save time and stop people arguing about their places.
- The race will commence in a timely fashion; we just have to organize the last little bits.
- Make sure you leave plenty of time to arrive in timely fashion for the ball.
- I complete all of my homework in a timely fashion to impress my teachers.
- I’ve applied to all the jobs on the website in a timely fashion to give me some free time for the rest of my day.
We can use “timely fashion” to show that we’re doing something quickly. Often, we use it when a deadline has been set, though not completely arranged. Someone might tell you to arrive at a certain time and arrive promptly, but there’s no guarantee that you need to.
Using “timely fashion” is seen as more of a verbal contract and agreement rather than an actual definitive time you have to do something. It’s most common in workplaces when a boss is keeping you to strict deadlines or asking you to arrive early for meetings.
Generally, if someone talks about an arrival time in “a timely fashion,” they mean they want you there earlier than the agreed upon time. If a meeting starts at nine, they’ll want you there five to ten minutes before.
Is It Timely Manner Or Timely Fashion?
We can use both of these words interchangeably with each other. If we refer to the earlier definition of “fashion” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, we’ll see that “fashion” also means “manner.”
Both “timely manner” and “timely fashion” are correct and are used interchangeably. “Fashion” and “manner” are synonymous when written in this way.
We can even refer to this graph to see that the two phrases are used throughout English literature (starting around the 1940s). “Timely manner” has always been the slightly more popular of the two words, but both words are used.
Can You Say “Fashion Manner”?
People wonder whether “fashion manner” is a suitable replacement for any of the things we’ve mentioned here. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
“Fashion manner” is not a phrase you can say. Since “fashion” means “manner” and “manner” means “fashion,” if you combine the two words, you end up with a direct meaning as either “fashion fashion” or “manner manner.”
Of course, doubling up on the words isn’t ideal when you want to convey a particular meaning in English. That’s why it’s important to never use the phrase “fashion manner.” There are much better choices out there.
However, because we’re talking about using “timely fashion” in this article, we must say that you should either stick to “timely fashion” or “timely manner.” There’s no need to combine the two any further than that. They’re synonymous with each other, and that’s enough.
Can You Say “On A Timely Fashion”?
Sometimes, we can use other prepositions before a phrase or idiom. Does that mean we can replace the “in” in the original phrase with “on?”
We can’t say “on a timely fashion” because “fashion” or “manner” are both nouns that we need to accompany with “in.” You need to use a word like “basis” if you want to use “on” as a preposition (i.e., “on a timely basis”).
- We need to complete these projects on a timely basis to impress the boss.
- We need to complete these projects on a timely fashion to impress the boss.
As you can see, “on” only works with a noun like “basis” in this sense. It’s wrong to use it with “fashion.”
What Is Another Way To Say Timely Fashion?
Finally, let’s look through some synonyms that we can use to replace “timely fashion.” The meaning for each of the following is the same, so choose whichever one you like the look of (or all of them if you want to expand your vocabulary list).
- In due course
This is a formal way of saying that you want a task to be completed by a certain time. It works well as a replacement for “in a timely fashion.”
- Without delay
Another more formal saying that we use is to encourage people not to waste time and instead get on with their tasks.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.