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  1. norikoagnes

    past tense

    Dear teachers,

    I found the sentence:It's time we left.
    Why should it be in past tense?
    Can I say : It's time we are leaving ?
    or It's time we leave.

    Thank you very much.

    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    Re: past tense

    It's time + infinitve- It's time to go
    It's time + subject + past tense- It's time we left

    Given that, at the time of speaking, the people haven't left, it's an imaginary situation, not a real one, so we use the past tense.

  2. norikoagnes

    Re: past tense

    Can I say "It's time we went"?
    maybe it sounds strange to use "went", so better to use "left" instead?

    It is time to go to school.
    "It is time you went to school." means that you are supposed to be at school, but you are not. right?

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: past tense

    It's (about) time (that) we went. (OK)
    => We should have gone (home) already.

    It's (about) time (that) we left. (OK)
    => We should have left already.

    It's time to go to school. (OK)
    => the underlined portion modifies 'time'. What time is it? It's time to go to school.

    It's (about) time (that) you went to school.
    => You should have left for school already.

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