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    #1

    It was the First time..

    Would you say the following sentence is wrong? If so why?

    It was the first time for me to talk to her.


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    #2

    Re: It was the First time..

    It's not wrong. It is awkward.

    It was the first time that I [had to speak/talked] to her

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    #3

    Re: It was the First time..

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    It's not wrong. It is awkward.

    It was the first time that I [had to speak/talked] to her
    What makes it awkward? Is it the infinitive? Why?


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    #4

    Re: It was the First time..

    No particular reason - just sounds awkward. It does not flow easily off the tongue.


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    #5

    Re: It was the First time..

    ''It was the first time'' phrase is used to express something that really happened for the first time, and it usually demands past tense(it's logical).
    On the other hand, ''for me to'' is used rather with an infinitive form following - It was a great opportunity for me to kiss her.

    So, as Anglika said, the following would be the best:

    It was the first time that I talked to her.


    Does that help?

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    #6

    Re: It was the First time..

    OK change was to is:
    It is the first time for me to talk to her.

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    #7

    Re: It was the First time..

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason72 View Post
    ''It was the first time'' phrase is used to express something that really happened for the first time, and it usually demands past tense(it's logical).
    On the other hand, ''for me to'' is used rather with an infinitive form following - It was a great opportunity for me to kiss her.

    So, as Anglika said, the following would be the best:

    It was the first time that I talked to her.


    Does that help?
    I once came across an interesting article, according to which linguists disagree on the variation between the fused construction with the to-infinitive on the one hand and the that-clause on the other. Some claim that "to +infinitive" such as in the above-mentioned sentence '' expresses ''personal experiential knowledge'' and should thus be used "with first-person subjects only". Other linguists disagree, and dismiss this theory as being based on purely intuitive grounds. Interesting reading (you need to search for the right paragraph):

    LINGUIST List 14.3136: Phonology/Syntax: Rohdenburg & Mondorf (2003)
    Last edited by bianca; 05-Jul-2007 at 18:20.

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    #8

    Re: It was the First time..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim View Post
    OK change was to is:
    It is the first time for me to talk to her.
    Hello Dr J.,

    For me, it sounds a little strange: I would expect a finite verb in this construction, in place of an infinitive.

    All the best,

    MrP

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    #9

    Re: It was the First time..

    Thanks MrPedantic I know if feels awkward but it is just a feeling. Could you please formulate your suggestion with a finite verb. To me the construction with that instead of the infinitive sounds more German than English. But here it seems the other way round.
    Last edited by Dr. Jamshid Ibrahim; 05-Jul-2007 at 19:33.

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    #10

    Re: It was the First time..

    Interesting ideas Bianca although the infinitive is prospective in view ie more theory than personal experiential knowledge it connects the two parts (direct) smoothly (the fused construction) whereas the that construction breaks the two parts.

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