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  • Hi guys! Dan for BBC Learning English here with this week's Learner Question. Find out

  • what it is after this.

  • OK! This week's learner question comes from Abdalla in Egypt, who asked, 'which is correct:

  • let's go home or it's high time we went home, and why do you use the past tense of 'go'

  • here?'

  • It's a good observation, Abdalla, and a good question. Well, both of these sentences

  • are correct in their grammar and their meaning, but they're different.

  • Let's is let us. And it's followed by the bare infinitive, which is a verb without

  • to. Unlike the verb let, which means 'give someone permission'. Let us is used as a gentle

  • suggestion. For example, let's go to the cinema, or, let's not

  • have Chinese for dinner tonight.

  • It's often combined with the question tagshall we? For example, let's go to the cinema,

  • shall we?

  • It can be used as a gentle imperative, or command to do something but it really depends

  • on who is talking to who, and the context and their tone of voice. For example, two

  • friends might say to each other: Let's go to the cinema, shall we? That's a suggestion.

  • But a parent might say to a child: Let's be quiet, shall we? That's not a suggestion.

  • The other phrase you asked about is it's high time we went home. And this is a subjunctive,

  • that's why we use the past form of the verb and not a different form. It means it's

  • a kind of unreal situation like a conditional. For example, it's high time we ate something!

  • We use this structure to mean that something should have already happened by now. And it's

  • often used to show irritationagain like a parent to a child, who might say: it's

  • high time you cleaned your room! I'm sure you've heard that one, haven't you? This

  • means I want you to clean your room.

  • I hope that answers your question Abdalla. Thank you very much for writing to us. If

  • anybody else out there has a question for Learners' Questions, you can email us on:

  • learning.english@bbc.co.uk. Please remember to put Learners' Questions in the subject

  • box and include your name and the country that you're writing from. We can't answer

  • every single question, guys. We just get too many, but we do read all of them. And for

  • more information, go to our website: bbclearningenglish.com. That's it for this week's Learners'

  • Questions. I'll see you next time. Bye.

Hi guys! Dan for BBC Learning English here with this week's Learner Question. Find out

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A2 question cinema suggestion learner question learner gentle

'Let's' and 'it's high time' - Learners' Questions

  • 11 1
    林宜悉 posted on 2020/07/01
Video vocabulary