Wrong Usage of ‘Spend’ – Grammar Reference For ESL Students » Luyện thi Gò Vấp
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Wrong Usage of ‘Spend’ 

He has spent two hours to fix his car. X

 He has spent two hours fixing his car. V 

When we use ‘spend time’ + another verb, the verb that follows is the gerund.


Spend time doing something. 

I spend a lot of time reading. 

Spend money on something. 


He spends a lot of money on his car. 

Other wrong usages of the verb ‘spend’ are as follows: 

spent 100 euro for my phone. 

My phone cost (me) 100 euro. V

spent an hour to get to work this morning. 

It took me an hour to get to work this morning. V

Other examples 

It takes me 10 minutes to get dressed. 

It takes you a long time to wake up. 

It takes him (my father) a few minutes to have breakfast. 

It takes her (my mother) 20 minutes to walk to work. 

It takes it (the cat) two seconds to climb the tree. 

It takes us (me and my flatmate) half an hour to clean the kitchen. 

It takes them (the children) ages to finish their homework. 

This is the most common way to speak about the amount of time you employ doing something. 

There is also a variation: 

You took a long time to get here. (Past tense) 

He took ages to fix the door. 

She takes hours to get ready in the morning. 

We took our time because we left too early. (We did not hurry) 

They took hours to finish the job. 

This is not so common when using the future tense: 

It is more common to say: 

It’ll take us ages to get to the airport so it’s best if we leave early. 

Here we use ‘will + infinitive’ because we predict this, maybe because we live very far from the airport or maybe because we think there will be a lot of traffic.