There are five minutes / It is five minutes [time]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Garbuz, May 6, 2014.

  1. Garbuz Senior Member

    Russian
    There are five minutes left before the bell. (1)
    It is five minutes before the bell. (2)

    Are they both grammatically correct?
    Is 'before' good in a sentence like that?


    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I can't say the second one's "wrong", but it doesn't seem quite natural to me.
     
  3. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    In the second one, "it" must be the time.
    The time is 4:55.
    The time is five minutes to five.
    It is five minutes to five.
    It is five minutes before the bell. (Possible, but unusual.)
     
  4. Liam Lew's Senior Member

    Why is it "are five minutes left". I would have expected "is five minutes left"?
     
  5. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    It could be either. A single period of time consisting of five minutes (more likely) or five individual minutes (perhaps you're thinking about how much could be accomplished in each of those minutes).
     
  6. Liam Lew's Senior Member

    Thank you, Myridon.
     

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