Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It Is High Time We Paid More Attention

You may be wondering what the title is all about. Well, it is about the use of past tense after the clause "It is time... " or "It is high time .." in the English Language. After the these two clauses, the verbs that follow them should be in the past tense.

The following sentences are wrong grammatically:

1 It is time you stop smoking.

2 It is high time you take up karate lessons to protect yourself.

3 It is time you start exercising.

4 It is high time we pay more attention in class.

The correct sentences should be:

1 It is time you stopped smoking.

2 It is high time you took up karate lessons to protect yourself.

3 It is time you started exercising.

4 It is high time we paid more attention in class.

The irony of English is there are times when the present tense must be used after certain verbs be they in the present or past tenses. Such examples are shown below.

1 I suggest that you revise your lessons daily.

2 I suggested to him yesterday that he revise his lessons regularly.

3 In the meeting, she recommended that we plan beforehand to avoid disappointment.

4 My dad made me do all the washing.

Happy studying English. I shall be back for more finer points of the language.

5 comments:

Hye said...

Waaahhh. I never thought that "It is time to stop smoking" is incorrect. Maybe I learn that in school but I did not take extra attention. thanks for the heads up.

Hye
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TH Yeoh said...

In fact, "It is time to stop smoking is correct." It can mean "Let's stop our smoking now as we have work to do. We can continue later." What is not correct is the sentence "It is time you stop smoking." which should be "It is time you stopped smoking."

TH Yeoh said...

In fact, "It is time to stop smoking is correct." It can mean "Let's stop our smoking now as we have work to do. We can continue later." What is not correct is the sentence "It is time you stop smoking." which should be "It is time you stopped smoking."

Garg the Unzola said...

It is time I started using the past tense of the verv after it is time.

Magdalen Islands said...

I guess I took it all for granted and never thought about the correct way of thinking, speaking and writing.
Thanks for the lesson.

Now, how much do I owe you? LOL!

Thanks for the visit to Gimme A Dream.