Are you starting work late today?

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sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
At one time, around 9:00 am in the morning when I walked to the bank for some banking, after greeting me, the teller continued to keep the conversation by talking about some daily topics. She was kind of curious about my working hour in that day, I heard her saying something like this:

“Are you starting work late today?”

Is that the natural way to say something in this context? Any other ways would you say?

Would you use

1) "Do you start work late today?"

2) "Do you start to work late today?"

3) "Do you start working late today?"

4) "Are you starting working late today?"

5) "Are you starting to work late today?"
 
  • agl126

    Member
    English - Australia
    At one time, around 9:00 am in the morning when I walked to the bank for some banking, after greeting me, the teller continued to keep the conversation by talking about some daily topics. She was kind of curious about my working hours of that day, I heard her saying something like this:

    “Are you starting work late today?”

    Is that the natural way to say something in this context? Are there any other ways you would say it?

    Would you use

    1) "Do you start work late today?" :tick:

    2) "Do you start to work late today?"

    3) "Do you start working late today?" - possibly, but only in a very specific context, not the one you specified.

    4) "Are you starting working late today?"

    5) "Are you starting to work late today?"
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    Since you're only talking about one occasion, namely today, you don't want the 'do' form.
    'To work late' means to work late in the evening so (4) and (5) may be taken to mean: Is today the first day you're working in the evening?
    I'd say something like:
    (6) 'Are you going into work late today?'
    OR
    (7) 'Are you late for work today?' This implies that you should have got to work on time.
    Cross-posted with agl126. I agree that you could use the 'do' form if you're talking about working late in general. But you seem to be talking about today and no other day.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    3) "Do you start working late today?" - possibly, but only in a very specific context, not the one you specified.

    Would you talk about the context?
     

    agl126

    Member
    English - Australia
    3) "Do you start working late today?" - possibly, but only in a very specific context, not the one you specified.

    Would you talk about the context?

    Imagine two workmates. Their boss has told them a week ago that all of the workers will need to start working longer shifts that finish later in order to cover the busy period over Christmas. One worker could say to the other 'Do you start working late today?'. In other words- 'Is today the first today that you will be working later than normal?'.
     

    agl126

    Member
    English - Australia
    It seems this sentence is acceptable in my context. Is that correct?
    Sunyaer, both are correct.

    "Are you starting work late today?":tick:
    "Do you start work late today?":tick:
    "Will you be starting work late today?":tick:
    "Are you going to start work late today?":tick:

    They all mean essentially the same thing.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Since you're only talking about one occasion, namely today, you don't want the 'do' form.
    ...

    Cross-posted with agl126. I agree that you could use the 'do' form if you're talking about working late in general. But you seem to be talking about today and no other day.

    Don't use the 'do' form?

    "Are you starting work late today?":tick:
    "Do you start work late today?":tick:
    "Will you be starting work late today?":tick:
    "Are you going to start work late today?":tick:

    They all mean essentially the same thing.
    'do" form: "Do you start work late today?":tick:


    Comments in these two posts don't seem to be in agreement. Please comment.
     
    Last edited:

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    In your first example, late is an adverb meaning "after the usual time, after delay". It's not idiomatic.
     

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    What I was thinking of when I wrote my answer was something along the lines of "Whenever I have an exam coming up and I have to study, I start late." or "Learning the piano is very hard if you start late." I don't know what DonnyB had in mind. You would not normally say "I start late" in connection with work.
     
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