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    • Join Date: Dec 2005
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    #1

    Smile expression

    The expression "it's about time" means "used to say that you think sb should do sth very soon": It is about time we got a new car. It is about time you had your hair cut.
    Why do we use past tense "got a new car" and "had your ..."?
    Thanks

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #2

    Re: expression

    Quote Originally Posted by daisy1352 View Post
    Why do we use past tense "got a new car" and "had your ..."?
    From BBC World Service | Learning English | Ask about English

    We have the example - "It's high time we went", but you could also say:

    - It's time we went, or
    - It's about time we went

    and you can use a continuous form as well:

    - It's time we were going
    - It's about time we were going, and
    - It's high time we were going

    The past form in these examples is, I think, the subjunctive form of the verb. The subjunctive is often used when we talk about unreal or imagined situations.
    Does that help?

  2. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: expression

    Hi, Casiopea!
    I think your explanation will satisfy her. What do you think of "It's about the time" and "it's high time"? How can you paraphrase them?

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    What do you think of "It's about the time" and "it's high time"? How can you paraphrase them?
    I'm not sure I fully understand your question.

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    #5

    Re: expression

    BTW, do we still use verb 2 when we are talking about an action that happened in the past? Can anyone turn this sentence into its past form please?:

    "It's about time the train departed from the station."

  4. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: expression

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    I'm not sure I fully understand your question.
    I don't understand my question either. so let it be unanswered.

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