I know that

It is time (understood: for the speaker or for a group of people including the speaker) to do something.


It is time I or we did something.

do not mean the same thing: the first is a simple statement of fact, whereas the second means there is some kind of emergency.

How about these same structures when the action is to be performed by a second or third person?

Does the nuance stated above cease to exist between

It is time for you/him/her/them to do something.


It is time you/he/she/they did something.


  • It is NOT an exact duplicate, not even a remote duplicate! The question asks about the difference between 'it is time + infinitive' and 'it is (high) time + past subjunctive'. The question you refer me back to is about 'it is time + present indicative' and 'it is (high) time + past subjunctive', conjugated verb forms both.
    – user58319
    May 2 '16 at 13:24

The nuance in this case comes from the tense of the verb do. This is obvious when we place it in the passive voice, and remove the prepositional clause.

This is present tense, and implies that the something should be done now:

It is time to do something.

This places the doing in the past, implying it should have been done already, and lending a sense of urgency to the task:

It is time something was done.

In conclusion: It is not the one doing the action that lends the urgency, but the juxtaposition of tenses, one of which is in the past.

  • Or It’s time for something to be done, or even in the olden style of yesteryear: It’s time something were done.
    – tchrist
    Dec 28 '17 at 23:38

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