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I was reading an article in The Economist and came across the phrase "Perhaps their time is come at last."

The founder of the first vegan society said in 1944 that "in time [people] will view with abhorrence the idea that men once fed on the products of animals' bodies." Many since have shared his hope. Perhaps their time is come at last.

I googled it but couldn't find any satisfactory reason as to why the author should use "Time is come" instead of "Time has come". Any ideas?

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  • It's an archaic usage, sometimes still employed in a literary context. In the English of three hundred years ago, some verbs formed their perfect with be instead of have (as is the case in French and some other languages). I don't know whay it would be used in that example.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 13 '18 at 11:02
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It's an archaic expression, probably sourced from 1 Peter 4:17:

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?


At least one source claims that the difference between "time is come" and "time has come" is that the former always means that someone is about to die, while the latter can mean other things too.

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