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    #1

    It's time I told you the truth.

    Hi. I'm wondering which verb tense should be used in a sentence structure like this:
    It's time I told you the truth.
    It's time I tell you the truth.
    I hear both.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    "It is" is present tense. That is the verb tense being used.

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    #3

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    The first sentence sounds absolutely natural, unlike the second one.

    You can say "it's time to do something" in specific contexts.
    Last edited by kilroy65; 08-Mar-2016 at 08:54. Reason: Punctuation

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    #4

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    It's time I told you the truth is the usual choice. It's definitely an odd construction, but for some reason we use the simple past after the present here even though the truth-telling is going to happen in the near future.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    It's the same construction we use in things like "It's time I went home" when it is time to leave a party.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    It's time I told you the truth is the usual choice. It's definitely an odd construction, but for some reason we use the simple past after the present here even though the truth-telling is going to happen in the near future.

    Yes, I'm more inclined to It's time I told you the truth because that's what I was taught to use but I keep hearing the use of a present tense verb in such sentences, so I was wondering if it was (I mean the present tense verb) some kind of spoken and not the grammatically correct way of using it?

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    #7

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    Stick to the form you know to be correct.

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    #8

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Stick to the form you know to be correct.
    I will, I just want to know if there is any difference in meaning implied with the use of either one of them.

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    #9

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    I am sure that the two expressions mean the same thing.

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    #10

    Re: It's time I told you the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by andi harper View Post
    I just want to know if there is any difference in meaning implied with the use of either one of them.

    NOT A TEACHER


    Hello, Andi Harper:

    A few years ago, I found some helpful advice, which I am delighted to share with you.


    This source claims that the choice of tense depends on "[h]ow fully the speaker expects the action to happen."

    Please study the source's two examples:

    1. "It's high time we send him a letter."

    a. If there's a real intention to send that letter now that the reminder has been issued, then the verb is present.

    2. "It's high time we sent him a letter."

    a. If the speaker has some doubt that we'll ever get around to sending the letter after all, then the verb is past.

    b. The source also feels that there is a sense of regret that we haven't already done it.


    Credit: The Grammar Logs #471 [a question and answer grammar website].
    Last edited by TheParser; 10-Mar-2016 at 11:18.

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