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  1. #1
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    It's high time you "chose" ?????

    I found that sentence in a book, but I don't understand why "choose" is used on a simple past form :

    It's high time you chose a better past time.

    I would have expected the simple present, could that be a mistake? a different meaning?

    help :p

  2. #2
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    NOT A TEACHER.

    It's not a mistake, but I can't explain why the past tense is correct. And I'm not convinced that the present tense would be wrong, although the past tense sounds better.

    Let's wait for a teacher to answer your question.

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by mehdi.m View Post
    I found that sentence in a book, but I don't understand why "choose" is used on a simple past form :

    It's high time you chose a better pastime.

    I would have expected the simple present, could that be a mistake? a different meaning?

    help :p
    It's simply the use of the past tense form for a hypothetical proposition. (Some might call it subjunctive - it's the same principle).

    The person hasn't chosen a better pastime. It's high time they did. (not 'do').

    More examples:
    You're becoming a nuisance. It's high time you left.
    It would be better if you chose a new pastime

  4. #4
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    Interesting. We're always learning, huh?

    Once tenses don't match, some may find it a bit awkward:

    It is hightime you left. (not 'leave')


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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    There are so many threads on this in the forum already.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...went-home.html

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...something.html

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...t-station.html

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/a...high-time.html

    You can use the search function in the upper right. I just typed in "it's time you" and got these plus another few dozen.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    Sorry, I didn't think of it!

    Thanks for your explanation to all of you, I perfectly understand know.

    One more question though, could we say :

    It's high time that you chose...

  7. #7
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    You can.

    (Sometimes the search engine works better than others in terms of giving good results. This one happened to be a good one. I'm sorry if I sounded like I was scolding -- I just meant to be helpful!)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by mehdi.m View Post
    I found that sentence in a book, but I don't understand why "choose" is used on a simple past form :

    It's high time you chose a better past time.

    I would have expected the simple present, could that be a mistake? a different meaning?

    help :p
    In the construction "It is high time..." the verb is conjugated for past subjunctive as distinct from past indicative, which is the same in form as the past indicative, except in the past subjunctive singular of "to be", which is "were" instead.

    It is hight time you were married.
    It is high time you chose a better past time.

    Read this:
    AUE: FAQ excerpt: Subjunctive

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    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    In the construction "It is high time..." the verb is conjugated for past subjunctive as distinct from past indicative, which is the same in form as the past indicative, except in the past subjunctive singular of "to be", which is "were" instead.
    Could you translate that into English for me?

  10. #10
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: It's high time you "chose" ?????

    Could you translate that into English for me?



    'Past indicative' and 'past subjunctive' sound like two terrifying names. For the sake of freeing ourselves from the sense of intimidation they convey to us, from now on, let us call them 'Yogi Bear' and 'SpongeBob' respectively. Yogi Bear and SpongeBob are two sets of inflectional systems. We now have yet another scary expression. To remove this too, let us denote 'inflectional system' by the name of 'Smurf'.

    Smurfs Figures

    What Smurfs do is they assign forms to verbs in certain grammatical structures from the set of forms they contain.

    The set of SpongeBob forms for 'be' comprises one element: 'were'. 'be' in all persons and numbers gets this form.
    The set Yogi Bear forms of 'be' consists of was and were.
    The set of present indicative forms, Cinderella for convenience, of 'be' are: am, are, is,
    Last edited by corum; 17-Jun-2010 at 17:42.

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