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Are the following sentences correct?

It's high time the government took steps to eradicate terrorism.

It's high time to take steps to eradicate terrorism.

I am asking this question because I have learned that the verb should be in the past form if we use "high time".


marked as duplicate by tchrist, Mari-Lou A, choster, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, jxh Aug 19 '15 at 6:09

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  • Is there anything wrong with "it's high time the government takes steps to eradicate terrorism"? It's the indicative and not the mandative subjunctive, which changes the meaning from something that isn't likely to happen to something that is likely to happen, but I believe it's still grammatical. – Peter Shor Oct 15 '13 at 11:58

High time is an idiom which is almost always used in that sentence frame (It's high time X did Y).

Using it outside that frame is grammatical, as Barrie says, but I'd go further than him and describe it as very unusual.

The word time, without the high, may take either frame:

It's time the government took steps.

It's time to take steps.

or even, as Peter Shor suggests

It's time the government takes steps.

though I think that option is unusual.


Both are grammatically possible, but the first construction is probably more usual.

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