it depends on what you are thinking about. there is not a general rule of thumb. mathematical equations represent real situations. As an example, if you are considering an accelerating object, its location will vary as a function of time in a different way than if you consider the velocity of the object. The position of a moving object experiencing no acceleration will vary directly with time, whereas the position of an object that experiences acceleration will vary as a function of time squared; that is, its position varies as a function of time, and its velocity varies as a function of time, so the position is ultimately a function of time times time (I did that on purpose, couldn't resist, sorry).
Directly with time, not t^2...
Basic equation relating displacement, speed & time is;
Speed = distance/time
So, distance = speed x time.
If speed here is kept constant, then the distance travelled will directly depend on the time.