2

Isn't it about time you left the hospital?

vs

Isn't it about time you leave the hospital?

or

Isn't it about time you forgave yourself?

vs

Isn't it about time you forgive yourself?

1

2 Answers 2

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We are dealing here with two different constructions which carry quite different nuances of meaning. 'Isn't it about time you left the hospital', is fine. It also carries at least a vague note of censure to the listener.

This first example is nearly always used with the past tense. One exception I can think of is with 'could'. 'You are thirty-five years old. Isn't it time you could drink through a straw?'

I think the second example needs to read. 'Isn't it about time for you to leave the hospital'. I am not sure it is grammatical without them. But that sentence does not contain the same hint of reproof.

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  • Do you disagree with the example, "isn't it about time you leave the hospital?" This seems particularly common but normally includes a preposition instead of a pronoun: "Isn't it about time to leave the hospital?"
    – MrHen
    Mar 19, 2014 at 14:48
  • @MrHen I think 'Isn't it about time to leave the hospital' is spoken in a different sense. It merely asks whether or not it is time to leave, and carries no note of reproof. On the other hand 'Isn't it about time you left the hospital' is usually (but not always) censuring of the listener.
    – WS2
    Mar 19, 2014 at 18:24
  • But is it wrong?
    – MrHen
    Mar 19, 2014 at 18:57
  • @MrHen We are dealing here with two different constructions which carry quite different nuances of meaning. 'Isn't it about time you left the hospital', is fine. It also carries a note of censure to the listener. But I think the second example needs the words in brackets added. 'Isn't it about time (for you) to leave the hospital'. I am not sure it is grammatical without them. But that sentence does not contain the same hint of reproof.
    – WS2
    Mar 19, 2014 at 19:30
  • Then why does your answer post only mention one of the two constructions? It seems that both are relevant when answering the question.
    – MrHen
    Mar 19, 2014 at 19:48
-2

I think both uses are wrong. More proper would be a preposition followed by the infinitive, e.g. "Isn't it about time for you to forgive yourself?"

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  • 1
    Why? Can you explain? Mar 6, 2014 at 22:42

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