sentence construction

Hela

Senior Member
Tunisia - French
Dear teachers,

Would you please tell me why there is only the auxiliary "will" in this sentence? Shouldn't it be followed by the verb "be"?

“Doctor?”
“Yes, Charles?”
“Can I go to school now?” asked Charles.
“Tomorrow will time enough. You sound positively eager.”

Thank you for your help,
Hela
 
  • georgeloise

    Member
    English, England
    Hi hela!

    In a normal sentence you would need the verb to be, but this is a kind of rather archaic set phrase. 'Time enough' here means 'soon'- tomorrow will come soon enough. It is an example of quite a formal literary style.

    Hope this is helpful!
     

    harneyp2

    Member
    English - Ireland
    Sallyb36 said:
    To me it sounds incorrect, it should be "Tomorrow will be time enough" to be correct english.
    I agree. If you Google each in quotes. You find results for "Tomorrow will be time enough" and none for the other which kind of confirms it.
     

    lizzeymac

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    This sentence does sound throughly BE to my AE ear, so Georgeloise would know best if it would be "corrrect" in AE.

    If you were writing for an American teacher, you would have to include "be."
    Even with "be" this is slightly archaic or pedantic for modern AE use.

    Tomorrow will be time enough.
     

    harneyp2

    Member
    English - Ireland
    lizzeymac said:
    This sentence does sound throughly BE to my AE ear, so Georgeloise would know best.

    If you were writing for an American teacher, you would have to include "be." Even with "be" this is a slightly archaic or poetic form for modern AE use.
    Tomorrow will be time enough.
    Don't mean to sound rude, but I speak British English too (well Hiberno-English to be exact) and Sallyb36 is from the UK. I am almost 100% sure you can't say it without the "be", and this is actually not archaic in British English. I say "Tommorow will be fine/ok" although "Tomorrow's ok/fine/time enough" also works in spoken English at least.
     

    georgeloise

    Member
    English, England
    Sorry to be so contentious!

    My first thought was that this sentence is incorrect, but it sounds like it comes from a novel. If you google 'will time enough' you can find some (admittedly not many) instances of this turn of phrase, usually from people trying to sound more intelligent than they are!
    'Time enough' is in the OED, defined as 'soon enough;sufficiently early', so I don't think this sentence means that tomorrow will be ok. The kid is keen to get back to school, so the doctor tells him that tomorrow will come round son enough.

    Of course, I could be wildly wrong...
     

    harneyp2

    Member
    English - Ireland
    georgeloise said:
    Sorry to be so contentious!

    My first thought was that this sentence is incorrect, but it sounds like it comes from a novel. If you google 'will time enough' you can find some (admittedly not many) instances of this turn of phrase, usually from people trying to sound more intelligent than they are!
    'Time enough' is in the OED, defined as 'soon enough;sufficiently early', so I don't think this sentence means that tomorrow will be ok. The kid is keen to get back to school, so the doctor tells him that tomorrow will come round son enough.

    Of course, I could be wildly wrong...
    I have never come across it but perhaps you're right and I'll read it in a novel and remember this discussion. I wasn't trying to say that "time enough" means the same as those expressions.

    To clarify:
    "Do you have that report?"
    "No, I don't"
    "Ok, send it to me tomorrow, it will be time enough (ok/fine)"

    Rather than saying they mean the same thing I was trying to say that it is a commonly used expression. I would use them interchangeably in situation's like this but they are not the same.

    Edit: I'm as bad as you. I just googled "will time enough" and I don't think any of the sources are good enough for proper context based analysis. Personally, I think they were typos but I couldn't be certain. Would the missing "be" change the context of the sentence? Grammatically, I can't see how it would be correct but then again I'm no scholar.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry, it sounds simply wrong to me.
    It doesn't sound literary - and the rest of the text is very conversational and current.
    None of the search examples look like archaic literary sites.
    On balance, it's an error.
     

    harneyp2

    Member
    English - Ireland
    A Google Book Search (why didn't I think of it before) offers a much better context based search. Charles Dickens and Jonathan Swift both use "Tomorrow will be time enough" in there writings. So I'd conclude that "Tomorrow will time enough" isn't an archaic or literary expression. Most likely a typo.
     
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