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Thread: past tense

  1. #1
    norikoagnes Guest

    Default past tense

    Dear teachers,

    I found the sentence:It's time we left.
    Why should it be in past tense?
    Can I say : It's time we are leaving ?
    or It's time we leave.

    Thank you very much.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: past tense

    It's time + infinitve- It's time to go
    It's time + subject + past tense- It's time we left

    Given that, at the time of speaking, the people haven't left, it's an imaginary situation, not a real one, so we use the past tense.

  3. #3
    norikoagnes Guest

    Default Re: past tense

    Can I say "It's time we went"?
    maybe it sounds strange to use "went", so better to use "left" instead?

    It is time to go to school.
    "It is time you went to school." means that you are supposed to be at school, but you are not. right?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: past tense

    It's (about) time (that) we went. (OK)
    => We should have gone (home) already.

    It's (about) time (that) we left. (OK)
    => We should have left already.

    It's time to go to school. (OK)
    => the underlined portion modifies 'time'. What time is it? It's time to go to school.

    It's (about) time (that) you went to school.
    => You should have left for school already.

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