It had gone five o’clock

SwissPete

Senior Member
Français (CH), AE (California)
In Touching the Void, Joe Simpson, an English mountaineer, writes: “We hadn’t descended far before I realized how poor the light had become. I checked my watch and was surprised to see that it had gone five o’clock”.

Is “It had gone five o’clock” a British English expression? Does it mean “It was past five o’clock”?

Thanks in advance for your explanations.
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi Pete - Happy Christmas!

    "It had gone five o'clock" sounds strange to me. I'd be (relatively) happy with "it was gone five o'clock", meaning "it was [just] past five o’clock".

    I expect "it had gone five o'clock" means exactly the same thing....
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Hi Pete - Happy Christmas!

    "It had gone five o'clock" sounds strange to me. I'd be (relatively) happy with "it was gone five o'clock", meaning "it was [just] past five o’clock".

    I expect "it had gone five o'clock" means exactly the same thing....

    Um, I tried changing it to: "I checked my watch and was surprised to see that it was gone five o’clock” - but the sequence of tenses sounds wrong to my ears. had gone sounds just right to me.

    Doctors differ, patients die.
     

    spodulike

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Pete - Happy Christmas!

    "It had gone five o'clock" sounds strange to me. I'd be (relatively) happy with "it was gone five o'clock", meaning "it was [just] past five o’clock".

    I expect "it had gone five o'clock" means exactly the same thing....
    Wow! That´s interesting. I am English and "had" sounds perfectly normal to me!
     
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