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  1. Ferdie11's Avatar
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    #1

    It's time we tidied up the office.

    Hello teachers,

    Just want to ask why we use the words "tidied up" (past tense) in the sentence below, not "tidy up" (present tense).

    It's time we tidied up the office.

    Thanks so much in advance.

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    #2

    Re: It's time we tidied up the office.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    Hello teachers,

    Just want to ask why we use the words "tidied up" (past tense) in the sentence below, not "tidy up" (present tense).

    It's time we tidied up the office.

    Thanks so much in advance.
    Time is not the defining characteristic of tense. What do you think about that?

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    #3

    Re: It's time we tidied up the office.

    Although it doubtless originated as a past subjunctive, the (obligatory) use in the contemporary language of the past indicative to refer to a hypothetical/future event is highly anomalous. Nonetheless, the construction is standard in all varieties of English.

  2. Ferdie11's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: It's time we tidied up the office.

    Thanks so much for answering my question. But would it be possible for you to explain this in basic English, that is, without including grammar terms?

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: It's time we tidied up the office.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferdie11 View Post
    Thanks so much for answering my question. But would it be possible for you to explain this in basic English, that is, without including grammar terms?
    Certainly. The explanation is: that's just how we say it.

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    #6

    Re: It's time we tidied up the office.

    Yes, indeed. Couldn't have simplified it better myself!

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