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I'm free at around 7PM.

Is it correct?

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closed as off topic by tchrist, Matt Эллен, RegDwigнt Aug 22 '12 at 9:34

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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There's nothing wrong with using the present indicative instead of future tense when nailing down an action to a time or speaking of things in the future as if they have already occurred. There is even a literary device known as prolepsis, which deals with exactly this.

How often have you heard someone in a movie or TV show say:

Reach for that gun and you're a dead man.

That is one example of prolepsis. Your example is another.

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There’s an argument that “at around” is not strictly correct, as either you’re free at 7 p.m. or around 7 p.m., but not both.

But it’s certainly widely used colloquially.

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good to know, thx. –  IAdapter Jan 6 '11 at 14:20
    
Ther's another argument that 'free around seven' would mean from (say) ten to seven to ten past, while 'free at around seven' means from circa 7 o'clock onwards. But in reality it all depends on context. –  TimLymington Dec 28 '11 at 19:46
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In everyday usage, I say "I'll be free around seven."

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It's understandable, and would probably be used by most native speakers too.

It would be more (temporally) correct if you said "I will be free at around 7PM", but I'm not sure that anyone would really pick up on the difference.

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