punctuality / being punctual

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sunyaer

Senior Member
Chinese
This is a sentence I made up myself.
As the principle at a training center, when hiring tutors, I say to them:

"Unless you have an emergency, punctuality comes first."

Is "punctuality comes first" idiomatic to mean "being on time is most important"? Is "being punctual" a substitute for "punctuality" in the context?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I suspect that "punctuality' is somewhat less important than breathing, wearing clothes, not stealing, not shooting up the school and a host of other things.

    I suggest you avoid the hyperbole and the attempt at ranking and follow Copyright's advice.

    Additionally, you need to review your use of principle
     
    Last edited:

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It's a short list of some things that are obviously more important than punctuality and used to illustrate that you should avoid hyperbole.
     

    sunyaer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Do "punctuality is important" and "being punctual is important" both work and mean the same thing?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    What makes it sound odd to you? "Comes first"?
    Yes. To say something "comes first" suggests to me that there are a number of other things which are of lesser importance, but your original sentence gives no indication of what these might be. :confused:
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Moving past "punctual" into simple, straightforward language, I would reword my original suggestion to say, "Unless you have an emergency, we expect you to be on time."
     
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