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Thread: Time expression

  1. #1
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    Talking Time expression

    Please, I need a little help about time expression?Which is the correct one: AT WHAT TIME or WHAT TIME?????
    Please...help me!!!

  2. #2
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Time expression

    Quote Originally Posted by MAGICA View Post
    Please, I need a little help about time expression?Which is the correct one: AT WHAT TIME or WHAT TIME?????
    Please...help me!!!
    They're both correct.

    "At what time does the lecture begin?" = "When does the lecture begin?"

    This is often written and said as
    "What time does the lecture begin?"

    "At what time does the movie start" is correct grammatically, I guess, but it would never be said that way. It sounds hopelessly pedantic for conversation (but you might see it in formal writing.)

    - "What time does the movie start?"
    - "When does the movie start?"

    - "When does the train arrive"
    - "What time does the train arrive"

    - "What time are you leaving"
    - "When are you leaving?"

    - "What time will you be finished?"
    - "When will you be finished?"



    BUT:
    (for rhetorical drama)
    The lawyer said in a loud voice to the witness on the witness stand, "And at what time exactly did you see -- SUPPOSEDLY see! -- my client steal the bicycle?!?!"
    (casual use: "What time did you see him do it?")

    (for dramatic emphasis)
    The parent scolds the teenager who stayed out late: "Well! At what hour did you finally get home, little lady?"
    (casual use: "What time did you get home?")

    (for formal use)
    The professor reads his lecture notes: "We shall now discuss at what time the experiment must be brought to a halt."
    (casual use: "What time do we stop the experiment?")

    (formal written use)
    The textbook says: "At what time the first development of the control of fire by Homo sapiens occurred, we as yet have no very solid or exact idea."
    (casual use: "We don't know what time people first controlled fire.")

    -----------------

    "What time is it?" is said this way only, and of course it has a different meaning.
    It is with this meaning that we say, "What time was it when sth occurred?"
    Last edited by Ann1977; 05-Oct-2009 at 11:36.

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