Did I catch you at a bad time

sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
"Did I catch you at a bad time?"

Could we say :"Do I catch you at a bad time?"

I don't think we could say "Have I caught you at a bad time?"

Please comment.
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    ...Saying "Do I catch you at a bad time?" would not sound like a native speaker; we would never say that.
    The reason: When you ask this question, the catching is already in the past. It's not in the distant past, it was probably only a few seconds earlier, but it's still in the past.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The reason: When you ask this question, the catching is already in the past. It's not in the distant past, it was probably only a few seconds earlier, but it's still in the past.

    Exactly! :thumbsup: And I am actually more likely to say 'Have I caught you at a bad time?' than 'Did I ...?'
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    That entry is taken from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verb, and it is possible that the 'Did I catch ...?' is preferred in AmE.

    I think 'Have I got you at a bad time?' doesn't sound idiomatic.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    1. "Is it a good time to talk with you now?"

    2. "Do you have a couple of minutes to talk?"

    3. "Have you got a couple of minutes to talk?"

    Are these expressions native?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    1. "Is it a good time to talk with you now?" :cross: (We'd more likely say, "Is this a good time for you to talk?")

    2. "Do you have a couple of minutes to talk?" :tick:

    3. "Have you got a couple of minutes to talk?" :tick:
    Are these expressions native?​




    My reactions are strictly US; British opinion may differ.
     
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