It's time you learned

elinor

Senior Member
Mandarin
Martha threw up her hands. "Well!" she said with a laugh. "It's time you learned!"

Why is the verb "learned" the past tense?

Thanks.
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    Hi Elinor,

    welcome to the Forum.
    Well, it is just grammar :) :
    It is time you learned = it is time for you to learn.

    I hope someone will be able to provide you with a more intelligent explanation.

    Jana
     

    Dalian

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    It's time someone + Verb(past tense).
    i think the past tense is required by the structure "it's time...".
    my grammar book says it's Subjunctive mood.
     

    cressonnet

    New Member
    I think the preterit (past tense) can be used when
    - there is a 'break' between the present and the past
    - or a 'break' between present and reality:
    when you say 'it's time we learnt' learning is something you should do, not something you actually do.
    it's the same with : 'I wish you were here ' or 'if I had a lot of money I would travel around the world'
     

    lsp

    Senior Member
    NY
    US, English
    cressonnet said:
    ...
    it's the same with : 'I wish you were here ' or 'if I had a lot of money I would travel around the world'
    That's exactly what we call subjunctive.
     

    elinor

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you, cressonnet and lsp.

    I found the information through searching for google, and I would like to share with you all, however I failed to link the webpage because of some errors showing in the reply system as long as I copied the webpage address on the screen.

    I copied some of them about “it’s time + past tense,” and I hope that will not break the rules of this forum. I am so sure you could look for the webpage according to this information.


    Thank you all.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Similarly, when we want to say now is a suitable moment to do something, either for ourselves or for someone else, we use it’s time + past tense:

    1. It’ (high) time I went.

    2. It’s time you paid that bill.

    3. Don’t you think it’s time you had a haircut?
     

    B. Davis

    Member
    US English
    Hi Elinor,

    Similarly, when we want to say now is a suitable moment to do something, either for ourselves or for someone else, we use it’s time + past tense:
    1. It’ (high) time I went.

    2. It’s time you paid that bill.

    3. Don’t you think it’s time you had a haircut?

    1. Normal use would have a place after went. The word "high" is Western US dilect - it means "past" here - "It's past time I went", which means that I have stayed too long.

    2. Correct. This means that you have waited too long to pay your bill.

    3. Correct. This means "Your hair is messy or too long. You need a haircut." A parent would ask a child this.

    Bruce
     

    Nick

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    B. Davis said:
    1. Normal use would have a place after went. The word "high" is Western US dilect - it means "past" here - "It's past time I went", which means that I have stayed too long.
    Just FYI: "past time" is dialectal as well, it does not make sense to me.
     

    Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    elinor said:
    Martha threw up her hands. "Well!" she said with a laugh. "It's time you learned!"

    Why is the verb "learned" the past tense?

    Thanks.


    Hi Elinor :p !!! There are some phrases that need the verb in the past.

    :arrow: It's about time
    :arrow: It's high time
    :arrow: It's time

    I think the past refers to the subjunctive, since what you are saying is something imaginary, hypothetical, not real. It's as if you said "I wish you learnt now".

    Bye!! :p


    You can avoid the use of the past with this construction:

    It's time for you to learn English :thumbsup:
     

    Alexbaffu

    New Member
    Romanian
    <Added to this thread. Nat, Moderator>
    It’s time you ....................... training for the Air Guitar World Championship in Finland. It is June and the contest is on August 22.

    a)have started
    b)had started

    Which one is better? a) sounds better to me but I'm not sure
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I’m inclined to say that the same applies in BE.

    But only a) is entirely out of the question, I think. For example, people do say “It’s time you had finished”, meaning not that you should now finish, but that you should already have finished — you should have finished by now.

    And if that construction is valid in relation to finishing something, it should also be valid in relation to starting something.

    It’s time you started (you should make a start)
    It’s time you’d finished (you should have finished by now)
    It’s time you went/left (you need to go)
    It’s time they’d arrived (they should have been here by now)
     
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