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  1. #1
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    Default It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    This is a sentence that came up on this small forum:

    Spanish Help Community Forum • View topic - It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    So, it was corrected :


    It is time that I...but, informally, we often omit the "that"...qfreed

    My opinion:

    I am not too sure if he is right on this, the "that" is not only not used, but not necessary, as the structure does not require the word.


    It's about time you came, it's high time you did your homework...


    However, it is necessary to use subjunctive here, as in :


    It's about time you came home early for once, it's time you were quiet for a while...


    I already asked several friends on skype, some agreed, others said the sentence was fine.

    I can't remember having seen the sentence with present simple, I am sure there is a rule, can you explain which tense you would choose and why? And if the present here sounds fine to you ?


    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    It's time [that] I wrote the word of the day without any mistakes.
    It's time for me to write the word of the day without any mistakes.

  3. #3
    heidita's Avatar
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    Default Re: It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    It's time [that] I wrote the word of the day without any mistakes.
    It's time for me to write the word of the day without any mistakes.
    HI em, so you would consider the "that" optional? And you also think that past is mandatory here? can you add an explanation? thanks

  4. #4
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    Default Re: It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by heidita View Post
    HI em, so you would consider the "that" optional? And you also think that past is mandatory here? can you add an explanation? thanks
    I would certainly consider the "that" optional. I would generally omit it.

    It's time I went to bed.
    It's time he learnt to make his own dinner.
    It's time she did the washing up properly.

    If I'm not mistaken, it's not actually the past simple being used, it's the subjunctive (or at least the closest thing that English has to the subjunctive) which happens to be identical in construction to the past simple!

    I have seen somewhere an explanation that it's the "unreal past" - ie it's something that you wish had already happened but it hasn't. I can see how that would fit those three examples too.

  5. #5
    heidita's Avatar
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    Default Re: It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    Thanks a lot emsr, I know it is subjunctive, thanks, we actually said that too, however, there were several voices who said that present simple , as used in the sentence, would be perfectly acceptable and people would feel comfortable with it. All native speakers, I found that rather amazing. I thought it was a mistake ....
    However, if you look on google, the results are even more amazing, the present simple has like 11 million hits, and the past/subjunctive only about 500 000 hits, really surprising.

    "it's time I write" 11.500.000 resultados

    "it's time I wrote" 489.000 resultados


  6. #6
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    Default Re: It's time I write the word of the day without any mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by heidita View Post
    Thanks a lot emsr, I know it is subjunctive, thanks, we actually said that too, however, there were several voices who said that present simple , as used in the sentence, would be perfectly acceptable and people would feel comfortable with it. All native speakers, I found that rather amazing. I thought it was a mistake ....
    However, if you look on google, the results are even more amazing, the present simple has like 11 million hits, and the past/subjunctive only about 500 000 hits, really surprising.

    "it's time I write" 11.500.000 resultados

    "it's time I wrote" 489.000 resultados

    Sorry, I missed your point about the subjunctive in the original post. I cannot think of an instance where the present simple sounds natural, whatever Google results show (don't forget they include every time a phrase has been posted on the net, including duplicates and everything written in English of any standard by natives and non-natives). I can't get COCA to work at the moment but I'm sure someone else will - I think the results there will be quite different.

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