'No, there is time.' vs 'Yes, there is time.'

Emerlander

Senior Member
Tamil - India
It's one of the things I still get confused about in English.

Context: Someone tells you it's late and that you'll miss the bus. But there is time. So you reassure them by saying:

1. No, there is time.
2. Yes, there is time.

In my language we say it like 1. But I think the proper way to say it in English is like 2. Am I correct?

Would 1 sound unnatural in English?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We’ll be late!
    No. There’s plenty of time. / We’ve got plenty of time.

    Are we going to be late, or is there still enough time to get there?
    Yes, there’s enough time.
     

    Emerlander

    Senior Member
    Tamil - India
    Thanks! So both 1 and 2 are ok, I think. But I'll add 'enough' or 'plenty of' like in the examples.

    No, there's enough time.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So both 1 and 2 are ok, I think.
    They’re only OK in the right context! The yes and no agree or disagree with what’s just been said, as always. They have no specific connection with “there’s time”. Neither of your examples is a set phrase.
     

    Emerlander

    Senior Member
    Tamil - India
    Oh yes, I agree. The context I had in mind is what I had given in the post: "You'll be late". :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    In that case, you need 'No' since you are disagreeing with the other person. You can in fact make it more emphatic:

    Jim: You'll be late and miss the bus.
    John: No, I won't! There is time!

    Maybe you are thinking of yes-no questions, where the yes or no agrees with the polarity of the answer regardless of whether the question is in the positive or the negative

    Jim: Is there still time? / Isn't there any more time?
    John: Yes, there's still time. / No, there isn't any more time.
     
    Last edited:

    Emerlander

    Senior Member
    Tamil - India
    Maybe you are thinking of yes-no questions, where the yes or no agrees with the polarity of the answer regardless of whether the question is in the positive or the negative

    Jim: Is there still time? / Isn't there any more time?
    John: Yes, there's still time. / No, there isn't any more time.
    Yup, this is the issue I had in mind. It can be a bit confusing at times for me.
     
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