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Back-to-the-Future Tense: How Does Time Travel Affect Grammar?

Still from The Big Bang Theory, Episode 164

A recent episode of The Big Bang Theory shows Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, and Howard watching Back to the Future, Part II and discussing the appropriate tense to use when talking about something that happened in an alternate past timeline. Here’s the scene, with a transcript via Harrison Tran .

Howard: Wait, hold on. Pause.

[music stops]

Howard: Something doesn’t make sense. Look. In 2015 Biff steals the Sports Almanac and takes the time machine back to 1955 to give it to his younger self. But as soon as he does that he changes the future, so the 2015 he returns to would be a different 2015. Not the 2015 that Marty and Doc were in.

Leonard: This is Hot Tub Time Machine all over again. Look. If future Biff goes back to 2015 right after he gives young Biff the Almanac, he could get back to the 2015 with Marty and Doc in it. Because it wasn’t until his 21 st birthday that 1955 Biff placed his first bet.

Sheldon: But whoa, whoa. Is placed right?

Leonard: What do you mean?

Sheldon: Is placed the right tense for something that would’ve happened in the future of a past that was affected by something from the future?

Leonard: [thinks] Had will have placed ?

Sheldon: That’s my boy.

Leonard: OK. So, it wasn’t until his 21 st birthday that Biff had will have placed his first bet and made his millions. That’s when he alters the timeline.

Sheldon: But he had will haven’t placed it.

Howard: What?

Sheldon: Unlike Hot Tub Time Machine , this couldn’t be more simple. [laugh track] When Biff gets the Almanac in 1955, the alternate future he creates isn’t the one in which Marty and Doc Brown ever used the time machine to travel to 2015. Therefore, in the new timeline, Marty and Doc never brought the time machine.

Leonard: Wait, wait, wait. Is brought right?

Sheldon: [thinks] Marty and Doc never had have had brought ?

Leonard: I don’t know, you did it to me.

Sheldon: I’m going with it. Marty and Doc never had have had brought the time machine to 2015. That means 2015 Biff could also not had have had brought the Almanac to 1955 Biff. Therefore, the timeline in which 1955 Biff gets the Almanac is also the timeline in which 1955 Biff never gets the Almanac and not just never gets: never have, never hasn’t, never had have hasn’t.

Raj: He’s right.

So of course all this is just a good excuse to combine two kinds of geekery: sci-fi and grammar: How realistic is this back-to-the-future tense? The main way Sheldon and Leonard twist the verb-tense syntax is to allow auxiliary have to take complements that it doesn’t take in monolinear-time Standard English. First, they put it with the modal will , when modal auxiliaries are always the first in a series of auxiliary verbs, even in outlandish strings such as will have been being eaten . Second, they put it with itself, in had have had brought and had have hasn’t .

Another kind of auxiliary combination we don’t get in monolinear-time Standard English is the past tense (or past participle) auxiliary had after a modal, in could not had have had brought . In our English, modals always take a base form ( have ), not a past-tense form.

Finally, there’s the combination of the negative contraction haven’t with will in will haven’t placed . In our English, the contraction has to come in the first auxiliary verb: won’t have placed .

But never mind the seeming syntactic violations. In a world with time travel, the language will have to evolve. My question was whether Sheldon and Leonard’s new syntactic rules for these tenses were semantically consistent with each other. In short, they’re not.

The main situation Sheldon and Leonard are discussing is an event time (young Biff placing a bet) that occurs later than a reference time (when young Biff receives the Almanac), but before the time of utterance (2014, in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment). Ordinarily, this kind of situation would call for the so-called “ future in the past “: Biff would place his bet sometime later .

The complication is that the event time and the utterance time are now in separate timelines. Even for this situation, though, ordinary English has an appropriate choice: the perfective version of this future in the past: would have placed. But there’s one more complication: We’re talking about an event that not only did not happen in our own timeline, but also did happen in an alternative timeline. So how do Sheldon and Leonard propose to designate such an event? They use the past-tense form had , followed by a normal future perfect tense ( will have had ), to get had will have had . Let’s call this the “alternate future in the past” tense. This tense also puts its negative contractions in a different place, as noted earlier: had will haven’t placed.

However, Sheldon and Leonard don’t follow these rules the very next time they discuss an event that occurs later than a reference time but before the time of utterance, in an alternative timeline: Doc and Marty’s trip in the time machine. By the rules created so far, it would be never had will have brought (or if they wanted to use a negative contraction, had will haven’t brought ), but instead, they go for the stacking of forms of have instead, leading to Sheldon’s culminating string never have, never hasn’t, never had have hasn’t. These are elliptical forms, which I surmise would all finish with gotten if they were fully spoken.

Still amusing, but it would have been funnier if these tenses had turned out to be consistent with each other, even after my poking at them.

The grammar problem posed by time travel was also explored in 1980, in Douglas Adams’ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe . I was inspired to look up what he wrote, and was hoping to compare his tenses with Sheldon and Leonard’s. The relevant part starts at the beginning of Chapter 15:

One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of accidentally becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem involved in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with. There is no problem about changing the course of history–the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.

After reading the first paragraph above, I was excited to notice that Adams’ subscribed to the view of time travel in which you cannot alter timelines, unlike the Back to the Future scenario in which you can. Would these differing assumptions be reflected in the hypothetical grammars?

Sadly, no. Although Adams imagines more kinds of twisted temporal situations than Sheldon and Leonard discuss, he never bothers creating new verb tenses. Instead, he chooses to leave them to the readers’ imaginations, while using funny grammar jargon to name them. Continuing from the beginning of Chapter 15:

The major problem is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveler’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be described differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time further in the future, or a time in the further past and is further complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.

Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later editions of the book all the pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.

These two examples are the only pieces of pop culture I know of that specifically discuss new verb tenses to handle time travel, although collisions between time travel and talking about time are relatively common in the time-travel genre: Time travel tenses have their own page on TV Tropes .

Fortunately, literary description already has a simple solution, at least for Sheldon and Leonard’s problem: Even without time travel, when you stop reading or watching a story, all of the events in it are taking place, have taken place, and will continue to take place. Have Romeo and Juliet fallen in love yet? That’s a meaningless question: They just do, in Act 1 Scene 5. So it’s a well-established convention that we talk about literary works in the eternal present: As long as we’re outside the events in Back to the Future , we can just say that Biff gets the almanac, he places a bet, he travels back in time. How Biff should talk about it, on the other hand, is something that has will haven’t been figured out yet.

A version of this post appeared on Literal Minded .

Follow @lexiconvalley on Twitter and on Facebook . 

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Douglas Adams > Quotes > Quotable Quote

Douglas Adams

“One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is no problem with changing the course of history—the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end. The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be descibed differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is futher complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father. Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later aditions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term "Future Perfect" has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be.”

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Time-Travel Tense Trouble

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Lister: We don't exist here anymore! Kryten: Actually sir, we don't ever have existed here anymore, but this is hardly the time to be conjugating temporal verbs in the past impossible never tense! — Red Dwarf

(Try saying that ten times fast.)

Most Indo-European languages have multiple tenses, to differentiate things that have happened from things that are happening right now from things that will happen, plus some to define what had happened before that, not to mention some that are a bit less identifiable in their everyday uses (we doubt that most people have understood the Pluperfect Subjunctive). It mostly works fine when your timeline is a strict progression from cause to effect.

Unfortunately, when you are watching the San Dimas Time , winding through the threads of the Timey-Wimey Ball , chasing another time traveler who is always one step ahead of you, it can become awkward. As a result, time travelers will often stumble over their wording, leading to use of tenses that can be torturous to understand.

Usually this is an experienced traveler explaining in eloquent yet incomprehensible terms that they didn't "just succeed", when you return from an adventure in the future. Alternatively, a less experienced character will attempt to explain what's going on, and struggle with their terms.

If your Future Me shows up, there may be pronoun trouble on a similar style , especially if there's several versions of future characters knocking around.

This is related to Meanwhile, in the Future… , Anachronic Order , Non-Linear Character .

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  • Haruhi Suzumiya : Mikuru is aware of the tense trouble, but she keeps flubbing it anyway. Considering that Mikuru is spacey and Moe , this leads to Adult Mikuru showing Kyon a mole on her breasts while saying something like "But you were the one who told me about it... wait, has that not happened yet? oops...". Later in that episode Kyon casually asks Mikuru if she has a mole "right about here" and points to the location on his own chest. She turns around, checks, and starts trying to beat the information out of him. That would be where Kyon "told her about it" — it's a bootstrap paradox.
  • Astro City : Quarrel's first meeting with Street Angel has him encountering this, since he's already met a future version of her.
  • Batman/Superman: World's Finest : When trying to explain his adventures as stranded in the year 1892, Robin tries to find the right tense before giving up in frustration. Robin: How do I know all this? Because I was born in the circus and raised on its history. And also because...I was there. Am there. Here. Right now. Back then. Forget it.
  • Cable : There's often no telling from which point in his life the Cable you're dealing with is actually from. It would be completely possible for him to be Killed Off for Real , and still continue to appear in comics simply because he hasn't died yet . The best you have is a few markers, like whether or not he's currently infected with the T-O virus, or if he has Belle (a sentient A.I. who helps manage his time-travel abilities). However, even that isn't a given.
  • A frequent out-of-universe problem when trying to describe events crossing Crisis on Infinite Earths , due to the major differences in how the retcon affected different characters and different past events. A few characters were rebooted as completely new characters ( Wonder Woman ), some were made so that they had been around before the Crisis, but their personalities and histories suddenly had always been very different from what all previous comics portrayed ( Superman ), some were erased from history ( Supergirl ), and some had basically the same history and memory that they had had before the Crisis ( The Flash , Green Lantern ). Therefore, there's both the reader's perception of what "Pre-Crisis" and " Post-Crisis " means (Pre-Crisis: Golden , Silver and the Bronze Age , Post-Crisis : Dark and Modern Age), and there's the characters' perception of what "Pre Crisis" and "Post Crisis" means (basically: Pre Crisis: Before Barry and Kara died, Post Crisis: after Barry and Kara died). This leads to descriptions like "After the Crisis, Batman changed so that he had been dark and brooding both before and after Barry died." Also, Barry's life, career and friendship with other characters, as well as the vague event note  from the characters' point of view: that Really Big Deal that no one really remembers but no one ever wonders about that caused his death, are all perfectly compatible (as far as their memories are concerned) with their personal histories and timelines that had been established after the Crisis was written. So basically, the characters can all recall and talk about events that as far as they are concerned, occurred when Barry Allen was still alive, but most of those events are significantly different from how they were reported by comic books written before the Crisis was published.
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck : In one of the bonus chapters, Magica de Spell tries to steal Scrooge #1 Dime by traveling back in time and taking the coin before Scrooge can possess it. She ends up having to fight Scrooge's father, Fergus, for the coin, which causes Fergus to start chasing after her on a chariot. Magica: This is like all the times in the past that Scrooge himself has chased me in the future. I mean... what am I talking about?
  • Justice League Odyssey reintroduces the time traveler Epoch who uses entirely new tenses of words to communicate niche timeframes relative to his current one. Everyone else is confused when he uses them, to which he just responds they aren't familiar with "fourth dimensional grammar".
  • In Supergirl (2005) issue #22, Supergirl runs into this trouble when she remembers that she travelled to the far future and fought/will fight alongside the Legion of Super-Heroes . Supergirl : Well, um, thank you for unblocking my memory. You were... will be... very good friends to me.
  • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade issue #5, Supergirl tries to have a talk with her time-travelling alternate self. Supragirl: Anyway, when the asteroid destroyed the school and gave everyone super powers, and Lena and Belinda were making everything crazy, I had to use the asteroid fragments to get time travel powers! Supergirl: None of that ever happened! Supragirl: That's because I'm on my way back in time to stop it from ever happening! Supergirl: But... Why are you here? Supragirl: I don't really know. All I know is what you told me... Supergirl: What? I didn't... Supragirl: Oh... You don't tell me about it until we meet in the 30th century. That's when I got this cool belt! Supergirl: Right. And is that where you got the horse? Supragirl: Comet? Oh yeah, he belongs to you in the future. You loaned him to me.
  • In A Mind-Switch in Time , Superboy runs into this trouble when he tells his parents he is going to the future for, ahem, this month Legion of Super-Heroes' meeting. Superboy: So long, Ma and Pa. I'm off to the [31st] century for... this month's... regular Legion meeting.
  • In Superman's Return to Krypton , Superman gets stranded into pre-explosion Krypton, and even he has trouble deciding what verb tense to use when he reminisces about how he will be sent to Earth thirty years ago. Superman: My father is observing Jonathan and Martha who will become my foster parents when I... er... am flown to Earth as a baby!
  • In Watchmen , Dr. Manhattan, who is able to perceive the past, present and future, says "Yes, yes, he killed Blake and half of New York . Excuse me, Rorschach, I'm informing Laurie 90 seconds ago," to Laurie "Silk Spectre" Juspeczyk, being confused by tachyon interference, before saying the same thing to Rorschach 90 seconds later. He's even in the exact same pose and position (relative to the walls of the panel) both times he says it. Also, the whole flashback (flashnow?) scene on Mars.
  • Brother on Brother, Daughter on Mother has this line from Eleya's time-traveling future daughter : "I was — will be born in 2421."
  • In Child of the Storm , any attempt to discuss the Stable Time Loop surrounding Harry's future self leaving a letter with Xavier fifty years in the past to give to him in the present tends to result in confusion and headaches.
  • In the first chapter Shinji and Asuka are visited by their future selves. Shinji: You were right, this is really strange from the other side. Daniel: You get used to it, Shinji. And technically, I will be right. I haven't said that yet. This is six months in my past, too.
  • Amusingly, Avaloni has verbal tenses for discussing time-travelling: Ching: 20th Century German can't handle discussing time loops very well. Avaloni has tenses for that, if you get a chance to learn it.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed , the narrator's confusing take on time travel and method for dealing with the Starswirl inconsistency tends to invoke this trope more than a few times.
  • During the first story of the Facing the Future Series , Danny runs into this when describing his bad future self fighting his good future self . Valerie: [confused] Uh, Danny? What are you talking about? [Danny sighs] Danny: You know what? I really don't know anymore.
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has this gem, which is more to do with Time-Travel Pronoun Trouble : "If I and my future self interact, we'll still see the same thing as both of me, even though, on my first run through, my future self is already acting in full knowledge of things that, from my own perspective, haven't happened yet..." Harry's voice trailed off into the inadequacy of English.
  • Simultaneously played straight and lampshaded by the narrator in the first chapter of Supergirl fanfic Hellsister Trilogy . Ten centuries in the future, this will happen. Let us say that it did happen, to make our story easier to relate.
  • In Hogyoku ex Machina : Ichigo: Hinamori? They were pretty close, right? Matsumoto: Were? Ichigo: Are. Sorry. She got... will get better.
  • A minor gag in The Infinite Loops is Twilight Sparkle inventing a whole set of new tenses specifically to counter this problem... and nobody else ever memorizing them.
  • The Thirteen Generals of Dawn's Gate figure out quickly what Barid Bel Medar is proposing when he suggests using balefire on Paaren Disen, but he still has to say he has a plan "to have won" the War of Power in Lost Violent Souls , a The Wheel of Time prequel.
  • The Second Try : As soon as the first scene of the first chapter Asuka has trouble keeping the tenses straight in her head: She still had problems to play this charade in front of everyone, and it seemed to only grow harder. She wasn't sure if she would be able to keep it up much longer at all. Not while these thoughts disturbed her mind; thoughts of all the things that happened... or will happen soon.
  • Strange Times Are Upon Us : Brokosh: Wait, back up. Are you saying we went back in time and caused a historical event that was going to happen anyway ? Had already happened? [later] Brokosh: But what I know is, you just caused me one hell of a headache when we get back to the future. The present. Whatever the fuck noun I'm supposed to use.
  • 'Til You Feel It All Around You sees three of the Straw Hat Pirates being deaged, leading to their crewmates struggling with how to phrase things. Sanji: Hell if I know. Maybe Robin does. Did. Would... Will? Damn.
  • The Twilight Child : Comes up during one chapter, when there's two different Twilight Sparkles, one from "now", and one from next Tuesday, who are being watched from a character for whom they are both Past-Twilight. The character's attempt to keep everything straight in her head fails, and on more than one occasion the narration just gives up trying to make sense of it.
  • Ward Peggy Sue fanfiction Warp gives us the next exchange: Antares: I talked to you and your wife yesterday. Number Man: I'm a bachelor. Antares: Not in four years, you aren't.
  • The tagliney prophecy which drives the action of this animated Science-Fiction film makes use of it: "In a thousand years, Gandahar was destroyed. A thousand years ago, Gandahar will be saved."
  • The telepathic mutants who recall this prophecy are acutely aware of the past and the future, to the point where their language has no present-tense verbs, and instead use past- and future-tense verbs simultaneously. Example; instead of telling the hero "I am your friend," a mutant says "I was/will be your friend."
  • Back to the Future Part II has this exchange: Marty: It's my fault — the whole thing is my fault. If I hadn't bought that damn book , then none of this would've happened. Doc: Well, it's all in the past. Marty: You mean the future. Doc: Whatever!
  • Back to the Future Part III has a Call-Back as the 1955 Doc sends Marty to 1885: 1955 Doc: Well, good luck for both our sakes. See you in the future. Marty: You mean the past? 1955 Doc: Exactly!
  • Déjà Vu (2006) : Denny: See you yesterday.
  • Inverted in Flight of the Navigator , when David gets asked by the police what year he thinks it is, unaware he's gone 8 years into the future.
  • In Groundhog Day , Phil never really has to worry about his tenses because he's the only one who realizes he's in a "Groundhog Day" Loop , but that just makes some of what he says funnier for the audience. Phil: [after being told something will be handled tomorrow] Well what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today!
  • Jumanji : After the game is won, Alan and Sarah find themselves as their preteen selves in 1969 again, with time having been completely reset . While he reconciles with his father, Alan also explains what actually happened in the shoe factory earlier that day , starting off saying "Back in 1969..." before fixing that to "earlier today...".
  • Mostly avoided in Looper , but there are a few phrases here and there that cause tense trouble. Joe: In seventy years, time travel will have been invented.
  • The first thing Agatha says after being pulled from the pre-crime unit in Minority Report is "Is it now?"
  • One of the best known Narms of Plan 9 from Outer Space is that the narrator, a fortune teller, switches frequently between the past, present and future tense while describing his prophecy: Criswell: Future events such as these will affect you in the future ... And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you the full story of what happened on that fateful day.
  • Primer . "I haven't eaten since later this afternoon."
  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home , Gillian catches Spock referring to the extinction of whales in the past tense.
  • From Star Trek: First Contact , when our heroes go back in time and meet the inventor of warp drive: Will Riker: Someone once said, "Don't try to be a great man; just be a man, and let history make its own judgement." Zephram Cochrane: Rhetorical nonsense. Who said that? Riker: You did, ten years from now.
  • A consistent element of the series (although rarely lampshaded ), going back Sarah's quote from the first movie : "You're talking about things I haven't done yet in the past tense."
  • Similarly, Terminator Genisys , once Kyle Reese tries to sum up something in the past tense, and then attempts to correct with present and future, he goes "[John Connor is] the man our son was... is... will be — Jesus! Time travel makes my head hurt!"
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past : "A long time ago, actually, a long time from now..."
  • In the 1632 series, about a 20th century West Virginia coal mining town sent back in time to the middle of the Thirty Years' War , both "uptimers" and locals of the 17th century are often found groping for a way to describe what for the West Virginians would be settled history but hasn't yet happened (or, more likely, will never happen thanks to the Butterfly Effect ) for those living during the Thirty Years' War.
  • The protagonist of "...And it Comes Out Here" by Lester del Rey has a bit of trouble talking to his younger self: You will, you know, so why quibble about it? At least, you always have... or do... or will. I don't know, verbs get all mixed up. We don't have the right attitude toward tenses for a situation like this.
  • In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, "Before Abraham was born, I am!" This taken to be a statement of divinity — "I am" is connected to the "name" Yahweh or Jehovah, as God told Moses ("I am that I am") — instead of evidence for a time-travelling Jesusmobile, but tenses for the omnipresent seem to run into the same problems with language.
  • Dracula and Bathory suffer from this as children in Count and Countess .
  • The Discworld Companion entry for a character existing in a Stable Time Loop says "Dios was (or is, or will be — certain temporal uncertainties make the choice of tense very difficult)".
  • When Vimes goes back thirty years in Night Watch , he is told to "just imagine things happening one after another " and sticks with that as less confusing.
  • In Equal Rites , when it is explained that the dead are unbound from all dimensions, the narrator describes the fact that a cat appears to simultaneously be its own age, a newborn kitten, and a decrepit moggy, as resembling a kind of white, cat-shaped carrot, "which will have to suffice until someone is able to devise effective fourth-dimensional adjectives".
  • Reaper Man : And at the end of all stories Azrael, who knew the secret, thought: I REMEMBER WHEN ALL THIS WILL BE AGAIN.
  • Scrappy tries to explain to Rincewind that he knows Rinso can save FourEcks because he's already done it, but he can't just go home because he hasn't already done it yet .
  • From the same book, a magically aged Ponder Stibbons thinks "You should've seen the temporal disturbances we will have been used to be going to get in my day ."
  • In The Science of Discworld II: The Globe , the wizards get into a bit of a tangle when trying to work out why, if they're about to go back in time and stop themselves from trying to change the past, they don't already remember doing so. Ponder uses the "it hasn't already happened yet " line, and Rincewind, who's already tried something similar, says he thinks there was a version of him that didn't go back, but there isn't any more. Lecturer in Recent Runes: You know, it's a good job we're wizards, otherwise this time travel business could really be confusing.
  • The Door into Summer : Then I caught hold of myself and realized that, out of all the persons living in 1970, [Dr. Twitchell] was the one I had least need to worry about. Nothing could go wrong because nothing had ... I meant "nothing would." No—- Then I quit trying to phrase it, realizing that if time travel ever became widespread, English grammar was going to have to add a whole new set of tenses to describe reflexive situations— conjugations that would make the French literary tenses and the Latin historical tenses look simple.
  • Larry Niven 's stories involving Hanville Svetz love to play with this trope. Svetz's solution to a time paradox involving the destruction of Ford's Model-T demonstrates very well how bad English is with time travel: Svetz: Maybe we can go around you. Zeera, try this. Send me back to an hour before the earlier Zeera arrives. Ford's automobile won't have disappeared yet. I'll duplicate it, duplicate the duplicate, take the reversed duplicate and the original past you in the big extension cage. That leaves you to destroy the duplicate instead of the original. I reappear after you've gone, leave the original automobile for Ford, and come back here with the reversed duplicate. How's that? Zeera: It sounded great. Would you mind going through it again? Svetz: "Let's see. I go back to—
  • In Harry Potter , Hermione insists on the correct tense when she travels back in time.
  • In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe , the Guide discusses this problem at some length. It states that the best resource on how to get your tenses right is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations , which teaches you how to change "is" to such bizarre constructions as "wioll haven be" and has tenses for even very specific situations (like how to describe something you would have experienced in the future, but which you avoided by traveling through time ). The problem is that the book is described as "an exceptionally dull read," and so many readers give up at the same spot (the section on Future Semi-Conditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional tense, to be specific) that later copies of the book have blank pages after that point to save on printing costs. The only useful thing to come out of the book is the discovery that the future perfect tense is actually invalid, because it was "discovered not to be."
  • An excerpt from Mostly Harmless describes causality thus: Anything that happens, happens. Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen. Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again. It doesn't necessarily do it in chronological order, though .
  • Due to the non-linear narrative structure of The Illuminatus! Trilogy , this happens with the narrator, who is aware of the non-linearity. As the book goes on, several of the characters fall victim to this trope after becoming effectively Unstuck in Time .
  • Etsugoya and Tsubakihara in The Impossible Stairwell both have some trouble with tenses before deciding to "just pick one tense and stick to it".
  • Johnny and the Bomb has a few instances of this when everyone's back in 1941. "There's an old windmill up there. It was some kind of look-out post during the war. Is, I mean."
  • Land of Oz : In Paradox in Oz by Edward Einhorn (1999), Ozma travels in time with the assistance of a Parrot-Ox, and finds out that there are two kinds of time she can travel in: "Oz time" and "Ozma time", the former being travel through the timeline of the entire land of Oz, while the latter is travel within her own personal timeline (letting her undo things she did, including other time-traveling).
  • Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov 's Norby's Other Secret : Norby and Jeff get mixed up on "before" and "after" when it comes to personal history versus objective history, but both times it gets handwaved away with the other people in the conversation saying that they understood the intent and to get on with the explanation.
  • Ambrosia gets stuck in a town that is trapped in the present. As people have memories, past tense is used, but at some point it seems like the author gave up in frustration.
  • Yazim sends his current girlfriend back in time to drop off a gift to Ambrosia. We get this passage... I don't remember making it for her, but obviously some point in the near future this will happen in her past.
  • The Narnia Time in effect between the territories in The Pendragon Adventure occasionally causes this sort of trouble. Usually involving rookie Travelers (we're looking at you, Spader and Siry).
  • Referenced in a Star Trek Expanded Universe novel about the Department of Temporal Investigations , which deals heavily with the logic and philosophy behind this trope. It concludes that the simplest solution is to look at things from the perspective of someone outside time and pretend everything is happening at once, and as such simply use present tense for everything. Instead of subjective and loosely-defined words like past, present, and future, Time Cops use "uptime" (forward) and "downtime" (backward) to describe relative distances in time, similar to how one might use north and south to refer to relative distances on a sphere.
  • In H. G. Wells ' The Time Machine the narrator faces this problem of where someone is/was/will be. When the (unnamed) Time Traveler disappears at the end the narrator wonders if he went into the past or future and says "He may even now (if I may use that term) be wandering on a prehistoric reef."
  • Averted in Poul Anderson 's Time Patrol stories. In those stories, the Patrol developed an artificial language, called Temporal, which allowed Patrolmen to discuss such matters without any of the tense problems raised in this trope. Since only Time Patrolmen learned and used Temporal, it also served as a way that Patrolmen could speak between themselves without risk of being overheard (or more accurately, understood) by others.
  • Time Scout makes this easy. It's running on a lot of different San Dimas Time portals to the past . If a portal leads to 1888 and the time travelers are talking about an event in 1889, they use the future tense. When they're talking about the future/present, they just use the present tense.
  • The Time Warp Trio book 2095 has the Trio return from the future and decide they need to leave a Time Capsule for their grandkids to complete a Stable Time Loop "or else they won't be able to save us before now ... or is it after then?"
  • Whoniverse : The Past Doctor Adventures novel Imperial Moon explicitly features the Fifth Doctor regretting that the English language doesn't have the right tenses for time travel when he says "We will have been here before" after the TARDIS has just materialised on the Moon in the twenty-first century due to crossing their own temporal wake of a journey they will make to the Moon in 1878 in the TARDIS's own personal future.
  • In the Young Wizards series itself, it's mentioned in passing that the Speech, the Language of Magic with which reality was written, does have the words to deal with thing like this, including talking about something in the past which used to be but no longer is due to the past having been changed.
  • In the Book of Night with Moon Arhu, a visionary, says, " Au, Rhiow, the way we talk about time doesn't work for talking about vision. I need new words or something!" Presumably he has not learned enough of the Speech yet.
  • 12 Monkeys is surprisingly light on these for a show with, on average, half a dozen instances of time travel per episode, but there are a few. In the "Groundhog Day" Loop episode (2x08): Jennifer: Hey! I didn't see either of you two yester-today.
  • From Babylon 5 's second Time Travel episode comes the following line: John Sheridan: The question of who stole Babylon 4 is one of the greatest mysteries in Earth military history! And you're telling me it was... me!? Uh, is me? Is going to be me?
  • Taken to ridiculous extremes in The Big Bang Theory , thanks to Sheldon's... eccentricities... when the guys are trying to figure out the timeline of Back to the Future Part II . Sheldon: Wait, whoa whoa. Is "placed" right? Is "placed" the right tense for something that would have happened in the future of a past that was affected by something in the future? Leonard: Had will have placed? Sheldon: That's my boy.
  • The sisters (Prue in particular) in always run into difficulty when trying to get their heads around the concept of tenses when time travel is involved. Prue: We barely got away as it was... Is. Will be. You know, I've never been good with tenses.
  • The series finale " Forever Charmed " contains the immortal line, "Something very bad has happened in the future."
  • In Day Break , Brett often ran into this whenever he tried to explain the "Groundhog Day" Loop to another character. Chad: When did I say this? Brett: Today. Chad: Wait, how many todays ago? Brett: Yesterday.
  • " Shada ": Chronotis: I am, I was, I will be, Professor Chronotis. Oh dear... we Gallifreyans have never managed to come up with a satisfactory form of grammar to cover these situations.
  • " The Two Doctors ": The Sixth Doctor comments on the Second Doctor in this convoluted way. Sixth Doctor: Your Doctor is an antediluvian fogey! Allowing himself to be captured by the Sontarans. If anything happens to me as a result of it, I shall never forgive himself. Peri: Oh, I do wish you'd stop switching personal pronouns!
  • " The Parting of the Ways " has a non-comedic use: Rose is sent back home to avoid a bloodbath taking place in the future. Jackie brushes it off, but it tears Rose up enough that she tears up other things...
  • " Silence in the Library "/" Forest of the Dead " is the Doctor's first encounter with River Song, but far from her first encounter with him. As a result, she experiences this trope when she talks about her relationship with him since that's all in his future.
  • " The Beast Below ": Amy ends up encountering this, telling a little girl she's getting married "a long time ago tomorrow morning." Which does technically make sense in the same way as "a week tomorrow" (specifically, she'd gone forwards in time from the night before her wedding).
  • The Doctor says the girls are like Houdini: "He was shorter. Will be shorter. I'm rambling..."
  • Rory says he's getting married in 430 years... which is why they have to have this conversation RIGHT NOW.
  • " The Pandorica Opens ": Amy: No, but you told the Doctor you'd see him again when the Pandorica opens. River: Maybe I did. But I haven't yet. But I will have.
  • " The Big Bang ": Even a Time Lord has trouble sometimes: The Doctor: You need to get me out of the Pandorica. Rory: But you're not in the Pandorica. The Doctor: Yes I am. Well I'm not now but I was back then. Well. Back now from your point of view. Which is back then from my point of view. Time travel, you can't keep it straight in your head.
  • In the short comic relief specials "Space" and "Time" , Rory and Amy get to meet their past (future?) selves, and get confused when explaining that the Doctor will tell them to go back, to tell themselves this, in order to make a Stable Time Loop .
  • " The Doctor's Wife ": Idris, in addition to liking biting ("It's like kissing, only there's a winner!") has some initial trouble clarifying her tenses. It makes sense, since she's the spirit of the Doctor's vehicle trapped within a flesh body. She jumps across space and time without regard to those silly simian concepts of past, present, and future.
  • Some fan attempts to translate the strange "Circular Gallifreyan" script seen in the new series have come to the conclusion that the language is not meant to be read linearly, but circularly. Words and sentences share tangential relationship to each other rather than flowing in straight lines. It would make talking about time travel easier, but also makes it nearly untranslatable for us linear, three-dimensional humans.
  • In Goodnight Sweetheart time traveler Gary Sparrow (who is married in the present day but is having an affair with a woman in 1940s Britain) upbraids his friend for cheating on his wife. When the obvious hypocrisy is pointed out to him, Gary replies "That's different. All my indiscretions are in the past. Even my future indiscretions are in the past."
  • Topical Panel Games like Have I Got News for You also get confused by tenses when describing something that might happen between recording and broadcast (and might have changed by the repeat. And heaven knows what'll be happening by the time it's on Dave...) Sometimes averted by having a special Friday Morning recording, usually so an election's results are known... Iain: Amazing the candor a politician can show! Lembit Opik: I'm not a politician any more — I can do what I like!
  • Loki : In " Heart of the TVA ", Victor Timely is impressed upon seeing the TVA in person: Victor: So, I built all of this? Or I did? Or I will, and I did?
  • Lost : In Season 5, Hurley completely fails to understand how a Stable Time Loop works, thinking that characters who are time-travelling can't die because they're in the past, which Miles, much to his frustration, has to explain is not the case. Hurley: Aha! I can't shoot you, because if you die in 1977 then you'll never come back to the Island on the freighter thirty years from now! Miles: I can die, because I've already come to the Island on the freighter!
  • Poked fun at on Mystery Science Theater 3000 when they were going through a time rift. Have you seen my chicken puppet?
  • In an episode of Quantum Leap , Sam leaps into the past version of his friend and helper Al; early on, Al has a bit of tense trouble relating to his younger self ("I think I'm... I mean, he thinks I'm my uncle.") Eventually Sam suggests that they refer to Young Al as "Bingo", which was his Air Force callsign.
  • In " Future Echoes ": Lister: Hey, it hasn't happened, has it? It has "will have going to have happened" happened, but it hasn't actually "happened" happened yet, hactually [sic]. Rimmer: Poppycock! It will be happened; it shall be going to be happening; it will be was an event that could will have been taken place in the future. Simple as that. Your bucket's been kicked, baby.
  • After being erased in " The Inquisitor ": Lister: We don't exist here anymore! Kryten: Actually sir, we don't ever have existed here anymore, but this is hardly the time to be conjugating temporal verbs in the past impossible never tense!
  • At the beginning of " Tikka to Ride ", Lister tries to explain how they recovered being killed by their future selves. The basic premise is easy enough (well, "easy"...), but Lister's grammar is so awful that the cameras keep exploding on him.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode " The City on the Edge of Forever ", Spock falls into this when discussing Edith Keeler's effect on the timeline: "Save her, do as your heart tells you to do, and millions will die who did not die before."
  • In the episode " Relativity ": Braxton: Thanks to you, we've learned that the temporal disruptor was and will be concealed here. I gave up trying to keep my tenses straight years ago.
  • And at the end of the episode: Janeway: [returning to Voyager from the 29th Century] See you in the 24th Century. Seven of Nine: I look forward to it. Or should I say backward? Janeway: Don't start.
  • Captain Janeway will happily deal with negative space wedgies all day long, but she hates dealing with time travel for precisely this reason.
  • So does Miles O'Brien in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode " Visionary ". Few hours older Miles: If you feel bad and you're my past self, shouldn't I feel bad too? Both O'Briens in unison: I hate temporal mechanics.
  • In the episode " Time Squared ", Picard must try to find a way to prevent the destruction of the Enterprise that he knows is coming. Picard: We must anticipate, and try not to make the same mistake... once.
  • At the conclusion of " Time's Arrow ", Picard bids farewell to Guinan of the 19th Century. Guinan: I'll see you in 500 years, Picard. Picard: And I'll see you... in a few minutes.
  • Captain Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise isn't too fond of temporal grammar either. Archer: So you're telling me you brought me back... what, ten months ago? What about Jonathan Archer ten months ago? Where's he? Daniels: He's you. Archer: Then who just climbed into bed aboard Enterprise ? Daniels: That hasn't happened yet. Archer: That's a load of crap and you know it.
  • Supernatural : In the "Groundhog Day" Loop episode " Mystery Spot ", Sam, the only one who has experienced the loop, asks Dean, in what would become a Memetic Mutation : Sam: Yesterday was Tuesday, right? But today is Tuesday, too!
  • In Top Gear , when James May described a Saab, while wondering if Saab was going to go out of business before the show was broadcast: James May: They say, or said, that it's based on a jet fighter, or was, but it isn't wasn't.
  • Played with in The Dark Knight RiffTrax : Gordon: We've found his next target. He's put it in tomorrow's newspaper. Kevin: Then we'd have been too late. If only there will be something we could do.
  • The Gemini arc of Sequinox sees the girls sent to a Gothic Horror world which is also based on Victorian England. The group has trouble figuring out how things worked "back in the now".
  • As with the panel games examples in Live—Action Television. The News Quiz lampshades the folly of having a Topical Panel Show being recorded on a Thursday for broadcast on a Friday as one the most anticipatable news events frequently occurs on a Thursday, an election in the UK. Leading to having to predict (Read:bluff) the result to perform gags accordingly.
  • Continuum invents a time-travellers' jargon with terms regarding your personal "spanner" timeline being separate from terms used in the general "leveller" timeline. Things in your subjective past are in your "age", while things in your subjective future are in your "yet". When talking about objective time, things are either "Up" or "Down"; the year 2000, for example, is Up from the year 1990. All events except those in your personal past require the present tense, since in a second, they may be your "now" too.
  • Genius: The Transgression runs into this once it starts talking about time travel; when discussing the consequences of changing the past it says that "what used to happen (and here the past tense gets into a bit of trouble), is that you got your ass kicked by the transsapient gods who live at the end of time."
  • Averted in one place in Gurps Time-Travel by saying that there are two timelines for the adventurer, the time he came from "hometime" and the time he is adventuring in; and Hometime keeps going while the adventurer was adventuring . Thus all that is necessary is to distinguish between home past and away past.
  • In Time Agent the objective is to have always been winning by using time travel to have changed the past, while never having had time travel invented. The flow of causality operates according to the Schrödinger's Gun trope, which means that technologies often work until you discover that even before you had been making changes to the timeline, they had never been working. In one instance the player commander of the Zytal had to leave and be replaced by another player, but from the board's perspective, the new player had always been the commander of the Zytal, for the previous commander had never been playing.
  • The Achron fandom made a little of their own grammar to explain stuff in the game. They talk about game-time and real-time (also referred to as "time" and "metatime"), and refer to units and events as early or late. When they specify when something happened, they use an ordered pair for the time.
  • Anachronist implies that every mage who tries to investigate the mysteries of time is inevitably driven mad by the mixing of verb tenses. The ranger teams have done the hard work and the rogue chronomage is now in custody. Hurray! the world is saved and all that. Except taking down the wizard just means he isn't going to destroy the universe in a giant temporal paradox, there's no guarantee he hasn't already destroyed the universe. That's the problem with time travel, you never know if the past has already happened. At least you can always count on the future having not happened since otherwise you'd remember it happening (unless of course it happened in a past that hasn't happened yet, but that hardly ever happens).
  • A boss in Avernum 5 summons two future versions of himself to assist him, and he does his best to keep his grammar consistent when shouting orders to them. He loses track and starts rambling when you kill both future selves and screw up the timeline.
  • The Luteces casually lampshade and debate this in front of Booker DeWitt. Their discussion is very confusing. Robert: I told you they'd come. Rosalind: No, you didn't. Robert: Right. I was going to tell you they'd come. Rosalind: But you didn't. Robert: But I don't. Rosalind: You sure that's right? Robert: I was going to have told you they'd come? Rosalind: No. Robert: The subjunctive? Rosalind: That's not the subjunctive. Robert: I don't think the syntax has been invented yet. Rosalind: It would have had to have had been. Robert: "Had to have... had... been?" That can't be right.
  • Also, in the game's intro, Robert notes that Booker "doesn't row". He means that (looking from a future perspective) Booker never rows, in any of the timelines. Rosalind misinterprets this as "Booker doesn't know how to row, isn't a rower". Rosalind: Why? Robert: Because he doesn't row. Rosalind: He doesn't ROW?! Robert: No. He doesn't row. Rosalind: Ah. I see what you mean.
  • Mender Lazarus has trouble with tenses. This doesn't make any sense to me. My readings tell me that your Temporal Scaling isn't strong enough yet to support the mission I had planned for you. But you've already done the mission. I know. I was there.
  • Made even worse because he's also in contact with a nearly infinite number of alternate selves, some of whom passed the local universe's Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Exist time travel brick wall.
  • Diviner Maros of the Circle of Thorns exists at all points over a 14,000 year period simultaneously. Your conversations with him can be very confusing, even to him.
  • Discworld lets players go back and forth between the past and the present. If you try to use an item that needs to be used at that place but in a different time, Rincewind will say "Try again later. Or earlier."
  • At the end of Final Fantasy : Garland/Chaos: Two thousand years from now, you killed me.
  • Lampshaded, like everything else, in Kingdom of Loathing . At the beginning of time, all messages are prefaced by "you remember" followed by a past participle or past perfect; the Distant Past switches off between first-person present and third-person past (because you're inhabiting the memories of your ancestor) seemingly at random, and the exposition upon arriving in the future for the first time starts out in future tense before saying "You will then start getting your narrative in present tense, because it's the future, we get it, no need to run that joke into the ground."
  • In Legacy of Heroes , Shimmerstorm speaks exclusively in this. Shimmerstorm: Like I'll tell you yesterday, I was ready.
  • In The Longest Journey , one of the species April encounters in Arcadia perceives the timeline all at once, and so has a horrible time keeping tenses straight when speaking to more temporally limited creatures.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time naturally falls victim to this trope during the final boss fight. Among the banter we find this: "It happened! ... Well, it will happen!" referring to the events of the game being experienced, rewound, and then about to happen (again?) if the Prince doesn't do something about it .
  • The opening cutscene to Spider-Man: Edge of Time . "Earlier... in the future." This is also lampshaded in a funny moment when the two Spider-Men end up in each other's time periods: Amazing Spider-Man: [after the time rift shifts and creates a deadlier path] O'Hara, can you do something to help me in the present? Spider-Man 2099 : Which present? You're in my present. You mean your past present or my present future? Amazing Spider-Man: ...I hate you.
  • Sunless Sea : Irem is... strange. It borders on some sort of Behind-the-mirror Dream Land , enough so that it manages to exist without actually having been founded yet. It's going to exist, but right now doesn't, and yet you can still visit it. Practically every sentence referring to it has verb trouble, and if you turn in a Port Report to the admiral he practically gets a headache just thinking about the right tenses.
  • Tasokare Hotel : In Chapter 8, this exchange takes place when Neko opens Kiriko's box to send Osoto to hell. Masaki Osoto: I remember now! In the future, I went to hell because of you! Neko Tsukahara: Your English grammar is wrong!
  • In World of Warcraft expansion Burning Crusade , a quest mob you can fight is a large creature called Banthar . In Warlords of Draenor , which takes place in the past of this same area, a person who sends you after Banthar on a quest has this to say: They have Banthar here! Or rather, she's still alive back now. Did what I just said make any sense?
  • Parsley Boobs has this exchange between the future counterparts of Carl and Steve; The joke being that he's using incorrect number and person, not tense. Steve: Close the door! Don't you know he suffers from amblyopia? Future Carl: Yes I do... for I are he! Only, I'm from the future. Future Steve: You know, I really do think it's "I AM he". Future Carl: It's all this time traveling! It really confuses me as to what tense we should be using!
  • Later, again from Sarda: Sarda: You can't do something you haven't yet done differently than how it will come to be done. Fighter: That was the most confusing thing I've heard in my life.
  • A truly memorable example occurs referencing Hitchhiker's Guide (the comic in question is indeed titled "Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional"), as Bob, trapped in the future, tries to find out from Prometheus/Protoman how he gets back to the present: Bob: Okay, if I told you what I did, how did I get back? Prometheus: Don't you mean, if you will tell me what you will do, how will you get back? [ beat panel ] Bob: How about, if you won't tell me how I did get back, I will shove my boot up your ass?
  • Of course, most of this ends up being stated by four simple words: "I hate Time Travel."
  • In one Dinosaur Comic , T-Rex likes to assume every unknown historical figure is, in fact, himself on a time travel ("It sounds rad to me!") Utahraptor: ...I see. So if I said that nobody knows who the historical King Arthur is? T-Rex: I'd say "that's me!" His exploits shall be going to have been being done by me! Utahraptor: Future perfect continuous passive? T-Rex: Ahem. Future perfect continuous passive, BITCHES .
  • In her logs to her past selves, Aradia is fond of referring to things that "we will and have already" done.
  • Thanks to the timebending properties of the Trolls' chat client, this is practically guaranteed in any conversation between the Trolls and Kids, or in the Trolls' memos.
  • And, of course, the word "understooding", which in the book version prompts a note from the author saying that the benefit of writing a time travel story is making up new tenses , and which he defines as "an inflection of 'to understand' wherein one is currently in the process of understanding something while existing in the past".
  • Luigi has to deal with a combination of this and a bratty teenager when talking to his daughter in L's Empire . Luigi: Now you listen here young lady, I'm going to teach you better manners than that. Rosa : Shut up, you're not my dad... Luigi: What? Rosa : Yet.
  • Narbonic : Dave, a long-time chain-smoker, travels back in time and alters the past so that he never started smoking. Later, when he mentions this, his co-workers give him odd looks and comment, "Dave, you never smoked." In the Director's Cut commentary, loyal readers from the comic's first run, when they saw Dave smoking in the early strips, inevitably commented, "Say... Dave never smoked!" "Yes, but he hasn't never smoked yet! "
  • Chris Sims of Comics Alliance describes one Plot Thread in the X-Men: The Animated Series : "Beyond Good and Evil" storyline thusly: [Cable and Tyler] are, of course, trying to kill Apocalypse before/after/during his plot to kidnap all the psychics, which may or may not have already succeeded/failed in the future that happened last week. So they need to steal a time machine.
  • Paradox from Ben 10: Alien Force has this problem; more specifically, it's the fact he seems to mix up events that haven't happened yet with events that have. Paradox: [to Ben] You're much smarter now than when I first met you later.
  • Ditto for Clockwork on Danny Phantom : Clockwork: I sent him back to his own time... or should I say, forward to his own time? You see, for me, time moves backwards, and forwards , and... oh, why am I bothering? You're fourteen.
  • Parodied on Family Guy when Stewie and Brian travel through time. Stewie: Now we just got to figure out where we are. Brian: Or WHEN we are. Stewie: Oh, that's such a douche time traveler thing to say.
  • In " Time Keeps on Slippin ", Professor Farnsworth describes unpredictable bursts of Mental Time Travel in a way that conveys they're accelerating but is no less mind-bending to parse literally. Farnsworth: At this rate, by Tuesday it will be Thursday. By Wednesday, it will be August. And by Thursday, it will be the end of existence as we know it .
  • In "The Farnsworth Parabox", an analogous situation arises while discussing parallel worlds. As Professor Farnsworth-A is arguing with Professor Farnsworth-1 about the accusation that one of them is evil and wants to destroy the opposing universe: Farnsworth-A: Nonsense! I would never do such a thing, unless you were already having been going to do that! Farnsworth-1: ...wha? Farnsworth-A: You heard me!
  • In a scene parodying Minority Report , Fry's reaction when discovering he will commit a crime: Fry: No, no! What have I will have done?
  • Gravity Falls : Parodied in "The Time Traveler's Pig" when Dipper and Mabel accidentally trigger Blendin Blandin's time travel device, taking them back to the 1800s. Both being Genre Savvy , they end up undermining the other's point. Dipper: When are we? Mabel: [dramatically] The real question is, when are we? (pause) Oh wait, did you already—? Dipper: Yeah, I already— Mabel: Alright.
  • In Kim Possible : In A Sitch in Time , Shego's future self tries to explain her scheme to take over the world in the future to her present self. Future Shego: Listen, we don't have a lot of time... OK, actually we do — well... we will . Present Shego: When you wanna make sense, just let me know. Future Shego: Grab the Time Monkey! Present Shego: Why? Future Shego: You need the Time Monkey. Present Shego: Can't I just use yours? Future Shego: No, this is mine! OK, well, actually, it's yours too, I mean... well it's the one you're supposed to steal, so technically ... Present Shego: If you need me, I'm gonna be in there watching Kim Possible lose. [later] Kim Possible: But if the Supreme One has the Time Monkey in the future... or the past... or... Wow. Aah! Brain pain. Rufus 3000: Time travel does that.
  • Invoked without time travel in King . In an episode where King Russel and his friends are charged with a crime they haven't done yet by the Future Infractions Bureau. While on the run and figuring out what they will have done (which is not kicking the shin of an alien ambassador, starting a quickly-lost galactic war ), to keep themselves off the F.I.B.'s radars (which track all usage of future tenses), they intentionally screw up their verb tenses and only referred to future events with past or present tenses. There were a couple slip-ups, followed by an F.I.B. ambush.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic , "It's About Time": Twilight Sparkle receives a message from herself a week in the future, and the state of her future self (wearing a torn black jumpsuit, her mane all messed up, and with an eyepatch and a scar on her cheek) causes her to worry: "What a mess she is. Or I am... or will be!" It turns out her future self was trying to tell her not to panic (which caused her to panic anyway ). After she goes back in time to try and deliver her original message, she realizes what just happened and says "Now I'm going to have to worry for a whole week!" despite the fact that for her the ordeal has passed.
  • The Phineas and Ferb episode "Last Day of Summer" features a "Groundhog Day" Loop , which results in Doofenshmirtz and Candace having occasional trouble with tenses. It is probably best exemplified in their song: Doof and Candace: If I get it wrong this afternoon, I'll get it right today when tomorrow is this morning again.

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Had will have placed.

The guys try to figure out the timeline of "Back to the Future Part II"

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time travel grammar

Things Of Interest

Time travel grammar.

"Dude, are you hungry? I haven't eaten since later this afternoon."

It is often held that time travel is difficult to talk about because of shortfalls in the English language. In his science fiction book The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe , Douglas Adams introduces a fictional author "Dr. Dan Streetmentioner" whose own Time-Traveller's Handbook Of 1001 Tense Formations explains at great and convoluted length how to describe events in your past but another person's future, events averted through time travel, events which you are, while speaking, travelling through time to avoid, and many more. This involves the introduction of many new verb tenses and convoluted verb conjugation rules for these tenses.

In fact, existing grammatical rules are already perfectly well-suited to talking about time travel. All we need to do is obey some conventions.

Part one: fixed history

There are multiple distinct models of time travel which a universe may obey. In the simplest model, time travel is impossible and this entire discussion is moot. For the purposes of this first section, we shall assume the second-simplest model of time travel: that there is a single, perfectly internally consistent, rigid timeline, whose history cannot be altered, even though time travel is, to whatever degree, possible. Fictional universes obeying this model include The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Twelve Monkeys and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

The first step to time travel conversations is to abandon an assumption: objectivity.

When time travel doesn't exist, the past, present and future are (barring relativistic effects) absolute and universal. My past is your past is the world's past. But in a universe with time travel, you no longer necessarily share a future or a past with the person or people with whom you are speaking. Only the universe itself has an objective past and future anymore. Events in your past may actually be in the future chronologically, because you travelled back in time to where you are now. You may have experienced the same event from different angles at different times in your personal history.

Time is subjective , which means statements about "the past", "the present" and "the future" are ambiguous .

There's actually a lot of good news in this area, though. Firstly, space is already subjective. While we're facing each other, my left is your right, and if we're on different continents, then what's a mile away for me is ten thousand miles away for you. Conventions already exist to handle problems like this, and these conventions are very readily adapted for analogous situations where, for example, an event in my past is an event in your future, or when an event twenty years in your past is only twenty minutes in my past.

Secondly, the problem of subjective time already exists in the real world even without time travel. It's called the postal service (or more generally, asynchronous communication). Suppose an event is due to occur tomorrow, and you write a letter about it and send it standard class air mail to the other side of the world. By the time the recipient reads the letter, the event will be in the past. What tense should you use, then, when writing? Well, you would start off with "By the time you get this, the event described will be in the past!" and go on to explain the rest using "should" and "will have" and so on. It's not a big deal. Just pay attention and you can handle this.

None of this involves the introduction of exotic new verb tenses. All you need to do is drop cues and provide context to others in order to clarify your statements about events, while continuing to use existing grammar.

The second step after abandoning objectivity is to make sure that your conversation partner does the same. To put it another way, the first cue you should drop is to tell the other person that you're a time traveller . Otherwise, the rest of this is pointless.

If you wish to keep the existence of time travel a secret, then abandon these rules, forget everything you know about the future and consult a conventional English grammar handbook. Better still, avoid conversations with non-time-travellers entirely.

The present tense is always good

"The Greenwich Meridian lies at longitude 0 degrees 0 minutes 0 seconds" is always true no matter where in space you are standing, how fast you are travelling or in what direction.

Likewise, in a fixed history, events remain events no matter the perspective from which they are considered. All of history, in fact, can be thought of as a single static event. Thus, a fixed event in history, such as the President of Malawi being hit in the face with a custard pie on 13 August 1990, can always be correctly referred to using the present tense. "In 1990, the Malawian President is pied in the face" is correct no matter where in history you are when you say this - 1991, 1957, 1990 watching the event happen, travelling through time past 1990 in either direction. It also doesn't matter whether you're talking to somebody in person, talking to them in the past from the future, addressing a group of people at different eras, or writing a letter to future recipients unknown.

Objective tenses for objective events

Assuming that you are speaking to somebody at the same location in history as you, and you aren't in the process of travelling past 1990 in a time machine, it is usually permissible to speak about events in the same general terms as you use in time-travel-free reality. In 1989: "The Malawian President will be pied in 1990". In 1991: "The Malawian President was pied in 1990". Also: "The Malawian President will be pied next year/tomorrow/any day now/soon" and "The Malawian President was pied recently/last year/yesterday/just now". Or omit the qualification entirely, as in "The Malawian President will be pied" and "The Malawian President was pied". In all of these cases, your conversation partner will (or should) assume from context that you are describing the relative locations in time of (1) the pieing and (2) the conversation with respect to objective history in general , not necessarily with respect to you or your conversation partner, both of whom may be time travellers with entirely more complicated perspectives on 1990.

The convention is easily breakable to confusing effect. In 2008: "The Malawian President will be pied in 1990". In 1957: "The Malawian President was pied in 1990". Both of these statements may be subjectively true from your perspective, if you are about to travel back in time to witness the pieing/just travelled back in time from witnessing the pieing. But it's very bad practice!

All of the above only holds if the pieing of the Malawian President is an "objective event" with no specific personal significance to you or your conversation partner, at which neither of you were present, and for which neither of you were responsible. Almost all historical events and news stories fall into this category. But when this is not the case, the rules become more complex:

Subjective tenses for subjective events

In 1990, you pie the Malawian President in the face and then travel back to 1983.

You already know it's acceptable to use the present tense, "I pie the Malawian President in 1990", although this is a somewhat odd phrasing in this case.

But you must be careful using phrases like "I will pie a Malawian in 1990" or just "I'm going to custard-pie the President of Malawi". It is clearer to say "I pied that guy", using the past tense.

Why? Because you're talking about yourself now, not the world at large. This event is part of your subjective past and always will be, no matter where in time you travel. When speaking about events directly affecting yourself, it will usually be assumed by your conversation partner that you are speaking from your own subjective perspective, because this is the most normal way to refer to events in your own timeline. "I will assault the Malawian head of state using custard" implies that this is a plan you intend to carry out sometime in your subjective future, which it isn't. A passive voice, "The Malawian President will be pied by me" is clearer on this point, because it more heavily emphasises the object of the statement.

Similar rules apply when referring to other people. In 1990, let's say your mother pies the President instead. Then you travel back to 1983 to meet her. This time, "I watched you pie the President of Malawi" is appropriate, but "You pied the President of Malawi" is not because this event is not her past as of 1983. "You will pie him" is better.

If, in 1990, your mother threw a custard pie in your face, and you go back to 1983 to confront her about it, both sets of rules apply. "You pied me" and "You're going to pie me" are equally true and meaningful. Take care to ensure that it is clear from context - or simply explicit - that this is an event in your past and her future, because the choice of tense is not going to elucidate this.

When using relative terms, there are no hard rules:

  • "I pied him 24 hours ago" will usually be taken to mean 24 subjective hours ago.
  • "I pied him yesterday" will probably be taken to refer to the previous objective day , i.e. presumably a day earlier in 1983.
  • "I pied him one day ago" is ambiguous.
  • "I will pie him 24 hours ago" is nonsense because of the bad tense.
  • "I pied him seven years from now" is nonsense because of the bad tense.
  • "I will pie him seven years from now" would probably be interpreted as seven objective years in the future, but possibly seven subjective years in your future.

Context is everything in interpreting such statements. But note that these problems are not entirely without precedent. Consider the ambiguity of the term "yesterday" when used after flying across the International Date Line. (That's not to say that these problems are solved ; even very carefully-written calendar software can trip up when, for example, scheduling a regular event to occur at 1:30am daily, just before Daylight Saving Time begins.)

The solution is to avoid ambiguous terms. Say "my yesterday" or "your next year" or "24 subjective hours ago" for absolute clarity.

Correct use of the first person

First person pronouns should always be used to refer to your current, present self: the darkness behind your eyes. This becomes criticially important when, due to time travel, there are other versions of you wandering around.

In 1990, you tie your shoelaces. You travel back to 1957. You then wait until 1990 and go and find your past self. Through a pair of binoculars, from across the street, you observe your past self tying his or her shoelaces.

Do not refer to that individual as "myself" and do not smugly announce "I am tying my shoelaces" to third parties. Other versions of you must be referred to using the third person perspective, as in "My past self is tying his/her shoelaces". You may also number the various instances of yourself according to where in their personal timeline this event is taking place. In this example, if your name happened to be "Henrietta", then this would be "Henrietta-1 is tying her shoelaces". You, observing Henrietta-1 through the binoculars, are Henrietta-2.

If Henrietta-1 happened to look up and spot you, she could use the same rules: "Henrietta-2 is watching me tie my shoelaces". She would also be permitted to refer to you has her "future self" and she would not be permitted to say "I am watching myself tie my shoelaces".

It's important to understand how ambiguous sentences like these are without this convention! Remember that with time travel, a person can tie his or her past or future self's shoelaces! So, even with just two Henriettas present, the sentence "I am tying my shoelaces" has four distinct interpretations:

  • "Henrietta-1 is tying Henrietta-1's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-1 is tying Henrietta-2's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-2 is tying Henrietta-1's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-2 is tying Henrietta-2's shoelaces"

and "I am watching myself tie my shoelaces" has eight :

  • "Henrietta-1 is watching Henrietta-1 tie Henrietta-1's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-1 is watching Henrietta-1 tie Henrietta-2's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-1 is watching Henrietta-2 tie Henrietta-1's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-1 is watching Henrietta-2 tie Henrietta-2's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-2 is watching Henrietta-1 tie Henrietta-1's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-2 is watching Henrietta-1 tie Henrietta-2's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-2 is watching Henrietta-2 tie Henrietta-1's shoelaces"
  • "Henrietta-2 is watching Henrietta-2 tie Henrietta-2's shoelaces"

Of course, "I tied my shoelaces" is always correct; this event is still in your personal past.

Part 2: inconsistent history

In more complicated time travel models, history becomes malleable and/or divergent. It may be possible to change history by going back in time; it may be possible to create a new timeline by going back in time. The situation may be even more complex. The best example of this is the Back To The Future series.

In situations like this, we have to abandon another assumption: even the universe itself no longer has an objective past or future. Some of the conventions we came to rely on above are no longer useful.

The use of the present tense to refer to events is still acceptable. You may still say "The President of Malawi is pied in the face in 1990", provided that (1) you add a clarification as to the specific timeline or timelines in which this event appears or (2) this is clear from context. Remember, it is possible to modify history to avert this pieing, or delay it until 1991: it need not occur in 1990 in all timelines.

Use greater care when referring to events in the future-- anybody's future. History is malleable. Nothing is guaranteed to happen the same way every time. All you can make are educated guesses. (This is exactly like time-travel-free reality.)

Use greater care when referring to events in the past-- anybody's past. The day that a protester threw a custard pie in Malawi President's face, an event of international significance, may be erased from history so that only you remember it. It no longer matters that you weren't present or responsible: this event is now personal to you, and must be described as being part of your subjective past.

If history changes radically, you may find that this is true of every event that has ever directly or indirectly affected you - from the outcome of wars and assassinations to your own birth.

Final notes

Remember the Three Things To Be:

  • Be patient.

Probably the most aggravating thing to do in a time travel conversation is to complain that conversations about time travel are difficult. Firstly, time travel grammar challenges everybody equally; your conversation partner is probably having just as much difficulty understanding you as you are having in expressing yourself unambiguously. As with every conversation involving specialist terminology, "English, please?" is simply insulting, and certainly isn't going to move you both closer to mutual understanding.

Secondly, time travel grammar isn't difficult unless you make it difficult for yourself. Put it like this: No matter how far you travel through time and how frequently you cause history to diverge or interact with your past and future selves, your experiences will always be linear. There will be a series of events leading up to your present situation, and there will be a series of events following it. What you can remember of your past might be confusing; you might not know anything concrete about your future. Oh, and other people's experiences might differ from your own. Shocking, right?

Discussion (21)

2012-03-26 13:27:57 by qntm:, 2012-03-26 14:47:49 by gazza:, 2012-03-26 15:42:13 by ochredragonfire:, 2012-03-26 17:17:05 by joetherat:, 2012-03-27 12:58:19 by snowyowl:, 2012-03-27 13:18:12 by qntm:, 2012-03-27 19:28:04 by snowyowl:, 2012-03-30 03:38:16 by isaac:, 2012-03-30 21:00:14 by p:, 2012-03-31 14:07:15 by aegeus:, 2012-04-01 21:34:31 by moravio:, 2012-04-01 23:57:17 by kylakyor:, 2012-04-11 01:30:28 by roykalyk:, 2012-04-11 15:33:39 by thomas:, 2012-04-27 09:19:37 by randall:, 2012-04-27 20:30:21 by nathan:, 2013-06-07 04:49:07 by daniellc:, 2013-07-31 18:34:09 by seraphnb:, 2015-08-31 20:03:45 by sach:, 2018-11-11 18:18:35 by tulliver scrim:, 2023-07-09 09:36:53 by matt:, new comment by :.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Chapter 15)

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most extraordinary ventures in the history of catering. It has been built on the fragmented remains of… it will be built on the fragmented… that is to say it will have been built by this time, and indeed has been—

One of the major problems encountered in time travel is not that of becoming your own father or mother. There is no problem in becoming your own father or mother that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with. There is no problem with changing the course of history—the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.

The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations . It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it. The event will be descibed differently according to whether you are talking about it from the standpoint of your own natural time, from a time in the further future, or a time in the further past and is futher complicated by the possibility of conducting conversations while you are actually traveling from one time to another with the intention of becoming your own mother or father.

Most readers get as far as the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional before giving up; and in fact in later aditions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy skips lightly over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term "Future Perfect" has been abandoned since it was discovered not to be.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe is one of the most extraordinary ventures in the history of catering.

It is built on the fragmented remains of an eventually ruined planet which is (wioll haven be) enclosed in a vast time bubble and projected forward in time to the precise moment of the End of the Universe.

This is, many would say, impossible.

In it, guests take (willan on-take) their places at table and eat (willan on-eat) sumptous meals while watching (willing watchen) the whole of creation explode around them.

This, many would say, is equally impossible.

You can arrive (mayan arrivan on-when) for any sitting you like without prior (late fore-when) reservation because you can book retrospectively, as it were, when you return to your own time (you can have on-book haventa forewhen presooning returningwenta retrohome).

This is, many would not insist, absolutely impossible.

At the restaurant you can meet and dine with (mayan meetan con with dinan on when) a fascinating cross-section of the entire population of space and time.

This, it can be explained patiently, is also impossible.

You can visit it as many times as you like (mayan on-visit re-onvisiting... and so on - for further tense correction consult Dr. Streetmentioner's book) and be sure of never meeting yourself, becauses of the embarrassment this usually causes.

This, even if the rest were true, which it isn't, is patently impossible, say the doubters.

All you have to do is deposit one penny in a savings account in your own era, and when you arrive at the End of Time the operations of compound interest means that the fabulous cost of your meal has been paid for.

This, many claim, is not merely impossible but clearly insane, which is why the advertising executives of the star system of Bastablon came up with this slogan: "If you've done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe?"

A Guide to the Guide - Some Unhelpful Remarks from the Author

  • Phone NASA. Their phone number is (713) 483-3111. Explain that it is very important that you get away as soon as possible.
  • If they do not cooperate, phone any friend you may have in the White House—(202) 456-1414—to have a word on your behalf with the guys at NASA.
  • If you don't have any friends in the White House, phone the Kremlin (ask the overseas operator for 0107-095-295-9051). They don't have any friends there either (at least, none to speak of), but they do seem to have a little influence, so you may as well try.
  • If that also fails, phone the pope for guidance. His telephone number is 011-39-6-6982, and I gather his switchboard is infallible.
  • If all these attempts fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it is vitally important you get away before your phone bill arrives.

Updated on 29 March 2002

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h2g2 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Earth Edition

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The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy

Earth edition, the grammar of time travel.

Created Jul 29, 2003 | Updated Jul 29, 2003

1 Conversation

— One of the major problems encountered in time travel not that of becoming your own mother or father. There is no problem involved in becoming your own mother or father that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can’t cope with. There is no problem about changing the course of history- the course of history does not change because it all fits together like a jigsaw. All the important changes have happened before the things they were supposed to change and it all sorts itself out in the end.

The major problem is quite simply one of grammar…

If a method of travelling through time is ever discovered, we will have to quickly come up with a way to explain it through words. People have foreseen this, and possible methods have been suggested. This is one such method:

A Possible Grammatical Method

The words past , present , and future are replaced by mypast , mypresent , and myfuture when used in first person. Other personal pronouns can be used, such as yourpast and hisfuture , but I will only go into first person here. Also mynow can be used for wherever you are currently in the time stream (And yournow and the rest for wherever other people are.) Pasten is used in the place of traveling into the past, and futurate likewise for the future. When one travels further through time in the same chronological direction paster and forwarder are used. When there are two instances of the same person at the same point in time the one that traveled through time to get there is known as a dopple . If the other is from the dopple's future it is the afterself of the dopple , and if it is from the dopple’s past it is the foreself .

So, if one is to explain that he traveled backwards through time to meet someone, they would say, "I pastened from mypresent to yourpresent." The yourpresent could also be expressed as mynow or yournow , or in fact anyone elses "now" it happens to be.

If that person then were to go even further back in the past to meet themselves, the might express that as, "I pastened from mypast to paster (or yourtime or mynow) to meet my foreself."

This is all very nice and wonderful, but that is only how you explain how you traveled, not what you did, and even then it can be discarded when someone pastens and then futurates to some point in time beyond where they started. It is recommended that anyone who manages to do that learns a new language before the trouble starts.

Linking and Action Verbs

The following is apparently DNA’s (what we can get from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe ) method of expressing linking and action verbs:

For any form of activity happening in the future, on - is added at the beginning of action verbs showing that that action is performed whenever you get to the point in time and space when/where it occurs. Linking verbs used before such an action verb have an added at the end of the word (and willan is used if there is no other linking verb). If the action is continuous (-ing), then willing _____ (action verb)- en is used. The phrase going to normally is used if something is certain to happen, and if you are futurating then it is, so as it is somewhat awkward will or some form of it is always used. Will have been is self-evident, replacing DNA’s wioll haven be which possibly will be used in other more complex ways.

Example: In it, guests take ( willan on-take ) their places and eat ( willan on-eat ) sumptuous meals while watching( willing watchen ) the whole of creation explode around them.

For the past, had - is added at the beginning of action verbs showing that that action was performed whenever you get to the point in time and space when/where it occurs. Linking verbs used before such an action verb have ad added at the end of the word (and wased [wuz·ed] is used if there is no other linking verb). If the action was continuous, then wassing (wuz·ing)(or wering [whir·ing] _____ (action verb)- ed is used.

There is much more to be said about the grammar of time travel, what is above being only the basics, and some of it only from a first-person perspective.

Some Other Quirks of Time Travel

  • Compound Interest
  • The Rise and Fall of Great Civilizations

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Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations

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Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations is a grammar book by Dr. Dan Streetmentioner . It is about what tense formations to use when discussing time travel, and is supposedly "the main work to consult on this matter".

However, the book is exceptionally confusing, and most readers only get as far as the section on the Future Semiconditionally Modified Subinverted Subjunctive Intentional before giving up. Because of this, in later editions of the book all pages beyond this point have been left blank to save on printing costs.

  • 1.1.1 Tertiary Phase

Appearances [ ]

Tertiary phase [ ].

  • Fit the Eighteenth
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  • This topic was addressed on "The Big Bang Theory" in S08E05 The Focus Attenuation in which the main characters attempt to unravel the causality of Back to the Future II, and they likewise struggle to find what they feel are appropriate verb forms.
  • 1 Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
  • 2 Vogon poetry
  • 3 Babel Fish

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Time Travel. Speaking exercise

Time Travel

Time Travel

In this lesson we will be talking about Time Travel in English , and looking at the 2nd Conditional .

“Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!”

— Doc Brown, Back to the Future

If you’re a fan of the Back to the Future Trilogy, you will know that when Marty McFly and Doc Brown go to the future, they go to October 21st, 2015 ! The future has arrived!! The future is now!

The movie was set in 1985, and they travelled 30 years into the future, to find all sorts of futuristic inventions, both in technology and fashion, including flying cars, wearable technology, and flat screen TVs where you could have video conference calls — and probably English classes via Skype!!!

Time travel is something that fascinates almost everyone, and everyone surely wonders, from time to time, what life will be like 500 years from now, and what life was like when our grandparents were growing up, or in the Middle Ages.

Before we get started, here is a list of vocabulary that will help you talk about time travel with your native English-speaking teacher in your conversation classes via Skype.

Vocabulary about Time Travel in English

Vocabulary about Time Travel in English

English vocabulary related to Time Travel

  • Breakthrough
  • Go back in time
  • Prehistoric times
  • Time machine
  • To time travel

Grammar to use in your online English conversation class

The 2nd conditional is used to talk about completely hypothetical things in the future, and has the following structure:

if + past simple | would

  • If I could time travel, I would go to the year 2300. (Is time travel possible? No! So it’s a hypothetical situation).
  • I wo uld visit the Middle Ages if I had a time machine. (We can change the order, no problem. But if must always be accompanied by the past simple)
  • If I could go back in time, I would buy last week’s lottery ticket and quit my job.

Useful verb forms:

  • Fly - flew - flown
  • Rise - rose - risen

Common mistakes:

X In that time √ In those days X The century 14 √ The 14th Century

Common pronunciation problems:

  • era /'ɪərə/
  • decade /‘dekeɪd/

If you could time travel, which era would you visit?

If you could time travel, which era would you visit?

Questions we will discuss in your online English conversation class:

  • If time travel were possible, which period of world history would you like to return to? Why?
  • How far into the future would you like to travel? What do you hope to see?
  • Do you think there will be a common language in the future? Why? Which language will it be?
  • On your journey through time, you can take five objects with you to show people what life is like in the 21st century. What five objects would you take? Why?
  • Are you optimistic or pessimistic about your future? How about the world's future?
  • One day, our grandchildren will look back at what we did to the world. What parts of our history do you think they will admire?
  • What parts of our history will they look down on?
  • What major advancements would your grandparents never have imagined were possible when they were children? ​
  • What major advancements do you think the human race will achieve this century?
  • What would you do if you had a telephone that could make phone calls into the past?
  • Which historical figure would you most like to meet? Why?
  • What would you ask them?
  • How would you spend the time with them?
  • If you went back to prehistoric times, what do you think you could teach humans of that time?
  • Have you seen any movies about travelling into the future? What happened? Were they believable?

Practice reading and listening before speaking with your native English-speaking teacher:

This article looks back on some of the predictions made by Back to the Future, and says whether they were “hits” or “misses” — whether they were right or wrong!

“In the cult film Back to the Future 2, Doc Brown and Marty McFly land in 2015, a futuristic land of flying cars and hovercrafts. As the New Year dawns, which of their predictions were hits - and misses?” Read more…

This short video also looks into some of the futuristic technological advances predicted on Back to the Future II:

Do   listening exercise on this video!

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The time travel plumber – A2/B1

The time travel plumber – A2/B1

Priya's son is ill, she has no money and now her kitchen is flooded. Can time travel make everything better?

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Preparation

Matching_MjQ0MzA=.xml

September 17

Priya and the plumber from TimeTech Insurance company looked around at her flooded kitchen. She hadn't been to the house for weeks. A few months ago, she had moved back to live with her parents to save money because Charlie's hospital bills were so high. She had hoped to sell the house before this but, so far, no one had been interested. Someone was coming to see it tomorrow, the first person in four months. She really needed them to buy it, but no one would want it now. She guessed the water had been in the kitchen for ages because it smelled like old fish. 

'Eww!' said Charlie at the horrible smell. He held his nose and made a silly face, the way five-year-olds do. And then he started to cough. But his thin body was too weak for the effort and he stopped. Priya felt even worse about the situation. 

She had called the plumber as soon as she saw the condition of the house. And right after that, she called her boss at the jewellery shop to say she couldn't work today. She was really good at her job and she sold lots of jewellery, but he would probably take money from her pay. Just one of those expensive necklaces would pay for Charlie's operation. It was so unfair! 

'Do you mind if I look?' asked the plumber. 

'Of course! Please, go in,' she replied. Luckily, the plumber was wearing boots that were about five centimetres higher than the water. He walked slowly towards the sink and opened the cupboard under it to look at the pipes. Then, he took a few photos of the flooded kitchen, one of them with her, Charlie and the dog in. Charlie made another silly face for the photo, which made him look even more pale and ill.

'Can you fix it?' she asked. She didn't have the money to pay someone to repair the kitchen, so she hoped the insurance company would do it. But TimeTech's slogan promised: Say goodbye to every* problem you ever had! Well, Priya definitely wanted to say goodbye to this problem.

'It's your lucky day,' he said, 'as long as the flood happened within the right time period. Now, to be sure, I need to go back two months. The pipe looks as if it's been like this for a while. But I think the flooding actually happened six weeks ago because of the way the water looks.'

Priya shook her head in surprise. It was so hard to believe that this time travel stuff was real.

'Now, I just need to ask a few questions,' he said. He had a pen and paper to make notes, not some complicated machine like you might expect a time traveller to have. 'When did you sign up with TimeTech?'

'August 15,' she said. Her heart sank the moment the words were out of her mouth.

'Oh,' he said. 'That's only a month ago.'

'Oh no! Please don't say you can't fix it! I need to sell the house or I can't pay for Charlie's doctor and—' She began to cry, she couldn't stop herself. 'I had to take the morning off work to come here today and my boss isn't happy. Now he won't pay me for today, which is all I need.'

'We really can't go back to a time before the customer signed up with TimeTech,' he said, 'because it's really hard to make them believe that in the future they're going to be a customer. We tried it a few times but it always went badly.'

'Oh, I'm sure I'll believe you! I was thinking about signing up for a long time before I finally did it,' she said. 'Say goodbye to every problem you ever had, right? I certainly have a lot of problems!' She tried to laugh but, instead, she was almost crying again. 

Charlie hugged her legs. Maybe the plumber felt sorry for her or maybe he was just embarrassed but he said, 'You seem as if you're having a hard time so, OK, I'll do this for you.'

He wrote down some more information, shaking his head. She knew that he was doing her a big favour. 'I'll be back in about half an hour to make sure you're happy with the work, OK?'

The plumber walked back to the road and disappeared into his van. It was a very ordinary van and it didn't look like a time machine at all. The slogan Say goodbye to every* problem you ever had! was painted on the side of the van. It had a * next to some smaller writing underneath, but she couldn't read it from where she was. 

Obviously they couldn't wait in the disgusting, flooded kitchen so they sat outside. Charlie was too tired to run around the garden. Instead, he watched the dog trying to dig a hole next to the 'For Sale' sign. 

She went closer to the van and read the small writing under the slogan. 

*TimeTech only solves problems involving objects. We CANNOT change situations that happen because of people and their actions.

Aaah, now she remembered! TimeTech had been in the news after twelve of their customers went to prison. TimeTech had now added * next to the word 'every' in their slogan. 

Just as she was looking at it, the van door opened. 'All fixed!' the plumber said, smiling. 

'Was I surprised to see you?' Priya asked. 

'Yes! At first, but that's why the photos are so useful. People always believe me when they see themselves in the pictures. You said you couldn't believe you were using TimeTech so soon after signing up.'

'Let's see! Let's see!' Charlie jumped up and down with a new energy. 

Priya opened the house door and, just like TimeTech promised, her problem was solved. The kitchen was dry, tidy and smelled normal. 

'Wow!' said Charlie.

Priya agreed. 'It's as though the flood never happened!' she said to the plumber.

He laughed. 'It didn't happen!' he said. 'I put your new pipe in on 17 July and that solved the problem before it could happen. It would be more accurate to say the flood un happened! But don't think about it too much. Time travel is confusing!'

Priya shook her head. She couldn't believe what had just happened – or unhappened. 

Two months earlier, Priya was also shaking her head and she also couldn't believe what had just happened. In one way, of course, nothing extraordinary had happened. 

A plumber had fixed a pipe in a few minutes. 

Except the pipe wasn't broken – yet – and the plumber had come from the future. 

Well, she was glad that future Priya was going to sign up with TimeTech. She had heard a bit about them, but now she really understood what the company did. Say goodbye to every* problem you ever had! the slogan on the van outside her house had said. There was some smaller writing underneath, but she hadn't been close enough to read it. It was amazing – solve all your problems with time travel. She hadn't believed the plumber was telling the truth at first. But when he showed her the photo from the future she knew it was true. The photo showed Charlie looking so pale and thin. It broke her heart to see how much worse her little boy would get in the next two months.

'I've certainly got a lot of problems,' she thought. The biggest was money, of course. Since Charlie had got ill, she had spent all her money on doctors and medicine. But he still needed an operation and if he didn't get it … She didn't want to think about it. She had very little time and she needed money, a lot of it. Until today, she thought selling the house and moving in with her parents was the only way to get enough money to make Charlie better. But now, thanks to TimeTech, she had a better idea. She knew stealing was wrong, time travel didn't change that. 'But my boss is horrible to me,' she thought. 'And anyway, he's so rich he won't notice if a couple of hundred-thousand-pound necklaces disappear. And if I do get caught, well, TimeTech will make it "unhappen" and get me out of prison.' Maybe they would help her put the jewellery back or go back in time and show her a photo of herself in prison, or whatever it was they could do. She'd seen her kitchen with her own eyes! TimeTech's insurance was the best insurance you could ever have.

As they waved the plumber goodbye, Charlie ran back into the garden. He played with the dog, who had found a ball in the kitchen. 'Where's the "For Sale" sign gone, Mum?' he asked. 'Did the plumber take it away?'

'Something like that,' said Priya. She smiled as she watched him running around. His legs were strong and his little fat face was pink. 

'The operation was a success,' she thought. Her old worries were gone. But now that she had read the small writing on the TimeTech van, she had a new fear – that any moment the police would come and she would be the thirteenth person in prison. TimeTech couldn't solve every problem. She had been crazy to imagine they could. So far, it seemed as if her boss hadn't noticed the missing necklaces. She hoped her luck would last.

Nicola Prentis

Grouping_MjQ0MzE=.xml

TrueOrFalse_MjQ0MzI=.xml

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Language level

It' s hard to understand for me to reading the syory with difficult words so i dot' s undestand some part of this story, but it' s okay to learn more words thanks!!!

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I'm not sure I like or I don't like this story. Also some words were difficult for my. I don't understand meaning of this story. As well Priya's story hasn't moral.

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Time Travel: A Pilot’s Strange Tale And A Scientist’s Lifelong Dream

We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where the characters have traveled through time or used a time machine. These are usually science fiction movies, but some scientists say time travel is possible in theory. There are also some people who claim to have actually done it.

In 1935, a British Royal Air Force pilot named Victor Goddard was attempting to land his plane in Andover, England. During his attempted landing, a storm broke out , and he almost crashed. He managed to take control of the plane and flew back over a different landing strip, which was abandoned. Except it wasn’t abandoned anymore – it was full of people and planes. The planes were a color and model he had never seen before. The people were also wearing different uniforms than they should have been. He eventually landed at his original destination and didn’t tell anyone of his strange experience. Then in 1939, the Royal Air Force introduced planes of the same model and color he had seen that day. They also started wearing uniforms just like he saw on that landing strip, which was now in operation again. Goddard believes he traveled ahead in time to 1939 and then back to 1935 on that day his plane almost crashed.

Then there is Professor Ronald Mallet, a scientist at the University of Connecticut, who is actually working on a time machine as we speak . Mallet has been attempting to build time machines since he was a child. At the age of 10, his father died, sending him into a deep depression. At the age of 12, he read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, which gave him hope that one day he could travel back in time and see his father again.

In 2002, he presented a breakthrough theory about how time travel could be possible using lasers and mirrors. He presented his theory at Howard University, where it was accepted as the real deal by his peers. He is currently raising money to build his time travel machine. The only problem is even if he is correct and the machine works, he’ll never see his father again. It will only be able to transport a person back to the time the machine was turned on and not a second before. While our descendants may be able to travel back in time to meet us, his theory does not allow for time travel to any time before the day the machine was first built. It is still an amazing theory, though, and his colleagues told him his father would be so proud of him.

Do you think we’ll ever be able to travel through time? And if we could, what kind of effect might that have on the future, past, and present?

Read More: Meet the scientist trying to travel back in time

We’ve all seen movies and TV shows where people have traveled through time. But this isn’t just science fiction. Some scientists say time travel is possible. There are also some people who say they have done it.

In 1935, Victor Goddard was trying to land his plane when a storm broke out . He almost crashed. He managed to take control of the plane. He flew over a part of the airport that was no longer used. It was always empty, but this time it was full of people and planes. The planes were a color and model he had never seen before. The people were also wearing different uniforms. He eventually landed at his original destination. He didn’t tell anyone of his strange experience. Then in 1939, the Air Force started using planes of the same model and color he had seen that day. They also started wearing uniforms just like he had seen. And that part of the airport was now in use again. Goddard believes he traveled ahead in time to 1939 and then back to 1935 on the day his plane had almost crashed.

Then there is Professor Ronald Mallet, a scientist at the University of Connecticut. He is working on a time machine as we speak . Mallet has been trying to build time machines since he was a child. At the age of 10, his father died. This sent him into a depression. At the age of 12, he read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. This gave him hope that one day he could see his father again.

In 2002, he presented a breakthrough theory about how time travel could be possible. It was accepted as the real deal by his peers. He is raising money to build his time travel machine. The only problem is even if his machine works, he’ll never see his father again. It will only be able to travel back to the time the machine was turned on and not a second before. Our children may be able to travel back in time to meet us. But his theory does not allow for time travel to any time before the day the machine was first built. Read More: Meet the scientist trying to travel back in time

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time travel grammar

English with George - Everything Students and Teachers need

Time Travel ESL Speaking Questions

B1 and B2 Level Speaking – Time Travel ESL Speaking

Time Travel Conversation EnglishwithGeorge.com

  • Have you seen any time traveling movies? Suggestions: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – Anime, Back to the future, Edge of tomorrow, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Do you think that people will achieve time travel in the future? Why? / Why not?
  • How would they do it? (Use machine/Travel with their mind and possess someone from that time/Use a gadget)
  • In which year? Why?
  • What would be like? Paint me a picture.
  • How would it be different from the present?
  • What would you do?
  • If you could stop time, what would you do and why?

In the Future:

  • How far into the future would you like to travel? In which year?
  • What do you hope to see?
  • Why / Why not?
  • What if your life depended on it?

In the Past:

  • In which year?
  • What would you ask this person?
  • How would you spend the time with this person?
  • On your time travels, you can take five objects to show people what life is like towards the end of the 20th century. What five objects would you take? Why?
  • What would you ask him/her?

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ESLBUZZ

Past Tense of Travel: Traveling Back in Time

By: Author Oliver

Posted on Last updated: August 12, 2023

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Welcome to our article on the past tense of travel! If you’re learning English grammar, you know that understanding verb tenses is an essential part of the language. The past tense is particularly important, as it allows us to talk about events and experiences that have already happened. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of English tenses, give an overview of the past tense, and focus specifically on how to use the past tense when talking about travel.

Travel is one of the most common topics of conversation, and being able to talk about past trips is a great way to connect with others and share experiences. However, using the past tense correctly can be tricky, especially when it comes to irregular verbs and complex sentence structures. In this article, we’ll provide plenty of examples and exercises to help you master the past tense of travel. We’ll also cover some common mistakes to avoid and provide additional resources for further learning.

So whether you’re planning your next trip or just want to improve your English skills, read on to learn everything you need to know about the past tense of travel!

Key Takeaways

  • The past tense is essential for talking about past events and experiences, past tense of ‘travel’ is ‘traveled’
  • By practicing with examples and exercises, you can improve your use of the past tense of travel and avoid common mistakes.

Past Tense of Travel: Traveling Back in Time

Past Tense of Travel

Travel is a verb that is commonly used in the past tense. In this section, we will cover the formation and usage examples of the past tense of travel.

To form the past tense of travel, we add “-ed” to the base form of the verb. For example:

  • I traveled to Europe last summer.
  • She traveled to Asia for business.
  • We traveled to South America for vacation.

Simple Past

The simple past is used to describe a completed action in the past. Regular verbs like travel are formed by adding -ed to the base form. For example:

  • I traveled to Paris last year.

Past Continuous

The past continuous is used to describe an action that was in progress at a specific point in the past. It is formed by using the past tense of “to be” (was/were) and the present participle (-ing) of the main verb. Here are some examples:

  • I was traveling to Paris when I got a call from my boss.

Usage Examples

The past tense of travel is used to talk about a completed action in the past. Here are some examples:

  • I traveled to Japan last year and had an amazing time.
  • She traveled to Italy for her honeymoon and fell in love with the country.
  • We traveled to Mexico for our anniversary and enjoyed the beautiful beaches.

We can also use the past tense of travel to talk about a past habit or routine. For example:

  • When I was younger, I traveled to different countries every summer.
  • She traveled for work every week and got used to living out of a suitcase.
  • We traveled to visit our family every holiday season.

In conclusion, the past tense of travel is formed by adding “-ed” to the base form of the verb and is used to talk about completed actions or past habits. Practice using the past tense of travel in your own sentences to improve your English grammar skills.

Common Mistakes with Past Tense of Travel

If you are learning English, you might be struggling with the past tense of the verb “travel.” Here are some common mistakes people make and how to avoid them.

Mixing Past and Present Tenses

One of the most common mistakes is mixing past and present tenses. For example, saying “I travel to Paris last year” instead of “I traveled to Paris last year.” To avoid this mistake, remember to use the past tense of “travel” when referring to something that happened in the past.

Using the Present Participle

Another mistake is using the present participle instead of the past tense. For example, saying “I am traveling to London last week” instead of “I traveled to London last week.” To avoid this mistake, remember to use the past tense of “travel” when referring to something that happened in the past.

Using the Wrong Auxiliary Verb

Using the wrong auxiliary verb is also a common mistake. For example, saying “I was travel to Rome” instead of “I traveled to Rome.” To avoid this mistake, remember to use the correct auxiliary verb (in this case, “did”) when forming the past tense.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences to help you practice using the past tense of “travel” correctly:

  • I traveled to Japan last summer.
  • She visited her grandparents in Florida last month.
  • They took a road trip across the United States.
  • We flew to Paris for our honeymoon.
  • He backpacked through Europe after college.

Remember, practice makes perfect! Keep practicing using the past tense of “travel” correctly, and soon it will become second nature.

Exercises to Practice Past Tense of Travel

Learning English grammar can be challenging, especially when it comes to mastering the past tense of travel. To help you improve your skills, we have compiled a list of exercises that you can use to practice and perfect your past tense of travel.

Interactive Exercises

Interactive exercises are a great way to practice the past tense of travel. They allow you to engage with the material and receive immediate feedback on your progress. Here are a few interactive exercises you can try:

  • Fill in the Blank: In this exercise, you will be given a sentence with a blank space where the past tense verb should go. Your task is to fill in the blank with the correct past tense verb. For example, “I ___ to Paris last year.” The correct answer would be “went.”
  • Matching: In this exercise, you will be given a list of past tense verbs and a list of travel-related words. Your task is to match the past tense verb with the correct travel-related word. For example, “flew” would match with “airplane.”

Written Exercises

Written exercises are another great way to practice the past tense of travel. They allow you to focus on the material and practice at your own pace. Here are a few written exercises you can try:

  • Sentence Writing: In this exercise, you will be given a travel-related word, and your task is to write a sentence using the correct past tense verb. For example, “train” could be used in the sentence, “I ___ to New York on a train.”
  • Paragraph Writing: In this exercise, you will be given a prompt related to travel, and your task is to write a paragraph using the correct past tense verbs. For example, “Write a paragraph about your last vacation.” You could write, “Last summer, I ___ to Hawaii with my family. We ___ on the beach, ___ in the ocean, and ___ at some amazing restaurants.”

By practicing these exercises, you will improve your understanding and mastery of the past tense of travel. Keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro at English grammar!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the past tense of travel?

The past tense of travel is “traveled” in American English and “travelled” in British English. Both spellings are correct, but American English tends to drop the second “l” in the past tense and past participle forms of the verb.

Is it spelled Travelled or traveled?

As mentioned above, both spellings are correct. The difference in spelling is due to the variation in American and British English.

Which is correct travel or travelling?

Both “travel” and “travelling” are correct, but “traveling” is the preferred spelling in American English, while “travelling” is the preferred spelling in British English.

What’s the difference between travel and Travelled?

“Travel” is the present tense of the verb, while “travelled” is the past tense. The difference between the two is the time frame in which the action occurs.

What is the V2 form of travel?

The V2 form of travel is “traveled” in American English and “travelled” in British English.

What is the V3 form of travel?

The V3 form of travel is “traveled” in American English and “travelled” in British English.

In summary, the past tense of travel is “traveled” in American English and “travelled” in British English. Both spellings are correct, and the difference in spelling is due to the variation in American and British English. Additionally, “traveling” is the preferred spelling in American English, while “travelling” is the preferred spelling in British English.

The past tense of travel is \"traveled\" in American English and \"travelled\" in British English. Both spellings are correct, but American English tends to drop the second \"l\" in the past tense and past participle forms of the verb.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Is it spelled Travelled or traveled?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Which is correct travel or travelling?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Both \"travel\" and \"travelling\" are correct, but \"traveling\" is the preferred spelling in American English, while \"travelling\" is the preferred spelling in British English.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What's the difference between travel and Travelled?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

\"Travel\" is the present tense of the verb, while \"traveled\" is the past tense. The difference between the two is the time frame in which the action occurs.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the V2 form of travel?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The V2 form of travel is \"traveled\" in American English and \"travelled\" in British English.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What is the V3 form of travel?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

The V3 form of travel is \"traveled\" in American English and \"travelled\" in British English.

In summary, the past tense of travel is \"traveled\" in American English and \"travelled\" in British English. Both spellings are correct, and the difference in spelling is due to the variation in American and British English. Additionally, \"traveling\" is the preferred spelling in American English, while \"travelling\" is the preferred spelling in British English.

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Breaking News English Lesson on Time Travel

Home     |     help this site, time travelers invited to stephen hawking memorial    (16th may, 2018).

  • 27-page lesson  (40 exercises)
  • 2-page MINI lesson
  • All 3 graded readings
  • North American & British English
  • 20 questions
  • Listen & spell
  • 4-speed reading
  • Text jumble
  • The / An / A
  • Prepositions
  • Missing letters
  • Initals only
  • Missing words

The Reading / Listening - Time Travel - Level 6

Time travelers have been invited to attend the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The legendary physicist, cosmologist and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers lined the streets in Cambridge, England for his funeral two weeks later. His family has now arranged a special ceremony to allow people to remember and celebrate his life, and time travelers have been invited. Hawking famously wrote in his book "A Brief History of Time" that: "If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?" Now they have the opportunity to travel back in time. The online entry form for the memorial allows people with birth dates up to December 31, 2038 to take part.

The concept of time travel had fascinated and intrigued Professor Hawking over the decades. In 2009, he staged a glitzy party for time travelers at Cambridge University. He arranged champagne and snacks, and a banner saying: "Welcome time travelers". No one from the future attended that particular event. A spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which is organizing the memorial service, said he had yet to receive a response from any time travelers to attend the memorial service. The deadline to reserve a place at the June 15 event at London's Westminster Abbey is today. The spokesman said it was still possible. He said: "We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

     Time Travel - Level 4   or  Time Travel - Level 5

  • http:// metro.co.uk /2018/05/14/time-travellers-invited-attend-stephen-hawkings-memorial-service-7543567/
  • https://www. sciencealert.com /stephen-hawking-s-memorial-service-is-open-to-time-travellers
  • https://www. npr.org /sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/12/610688433/tardis-optional-time-travelers-invited-to-stephen-hawking-service

Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)

"Much has been said and written on the utility of newspapers; but one principal advantage which might be derived from these publications has been neglected; we mean that of reading them in schools." The Portland Eastern Herald (June 8, 1795)

"News is history in its first and best form, its vivid and fascinating form, and...history is the pale and tranquil reflection of it." Mark Twain, in his autobiography (1906)

"Current events provide authentic learning experiences for students at all grade levels.... In studying current events, students are required to use a range of cognitive, affective, critical thinking and research skills." Haas, M. and Laughlin, M. (2000) Teaching Current Events: It's Status in Social Studies Today.

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--> 1. TIME TRAVEL: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about time travel. Change partners often and share your findings. 2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?        time / traveler / time travelers / cosmology / fans / funeral / ceremony / tourist / birth        concept / intrigued / decades / party / champagne / the future / deadline / possible Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently. 3. A GOOD THING: Students A strongly believe time travel would be a good thing; Students B strongly believe it wouldn't.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations. 4. TIME: What would it be like to travel to these times? What would you do there? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.   What would it be like? What would you do there? Dinosaur times     Iron Age     2018 years ago     The 1800s     The 1960s     The year 2099     MY e-BOOK See a sample 5. FUTURE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "future". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories. 6. BEST YEAR: Rank these with your partner. Put the best year to time travel to at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings. 1776 1066 2025 2118 3000 BC 100 25000 BC 3000   Vocabulary     Paragraph 1       1. attend a. The ceremonies honoring a dead person, typically involving burial or cremation.       2. legendary b. Someone who studies or is an expert on space and the origins of the universe.       3. cosmologist c. Remarkable enough to be famous; very well known.       4. lined d. A situation that makes it possible to do something; chance.       5. funeral e. Go to and be present at an event, meeting, or function.       6. celebrate f. Stood at intervals along a road or route.       7. opportunity g. Acknowledge a significant or happy day or event with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.     Paragraph 2       8. concept h. A verbal or written answer.       9. intrigued i. Removed from consideration; ruled out.       10. glitzy j. The latest time or date by which something should be completed.       11. response k. Arouse the curiosity or interest of; fascinated.       12. deadline l. Prove that something is false.       13. exclude m. An abstract idea; a general notion.       14. disproven n. Looking glamorous but only for show.   Before reading / listening 1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F). Time travelers have been invited to Stephen Hawking's funeral.      T / F Stephen Hawking's funeral was two weeks after his death.      T / F Hawking once asked where the tourists from the future were.      T / F People born in 2035 can attend Stephen Hawking's memorial service.      T / F Stephen Hawking first got interested in time travel two years ago.      T / F Hawking once arranged a champagne party for time travelers.     T / F Three time travelers have replied to the memorial service organizers.      T / F The memorial event will take place at St Paul's Cathedral in London.      T / F 2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article. attend legendary celebrate opportunity entry concept arranged event deadline exclude organized honor rule out notion famous time limit application go to function chance 3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.) invited to attend the memorial The legendary physicist, Thousands of fans and well-wishers remember and the opportunity to travel time travel had fascinated and yet to The deadline to reserve We cannot exclude the possibility it has not been lined the streets receive a response celebrate his life intrigued Professor Hawking of time travel cosmologist and author a place disproven service back in time Gap fill Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below. lined famously online legendary birth celebrate tourists funeral

Time travelers have been invited to attend the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The (1) ____________ physicist, cosmologist and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers (2) ____________ the streets in Cambridge, England for his (3) ____________ two weeks later. His family has now arranged a special ceremony to allow people to remember and (4) ____________ his life, and time travelers have been invited. Hawking (5) ____________ wrote in his book "A Brief History of Time" that: "If time travel is possible, where are the (6) ____________ from the future?" Now they have the opportunity to travel back in time. The (7) ____________ entry form for the memorial allows people with (8) ____________ dates up to December 31, 2038 to take part.

banner intrigued still yet satisfaction glitzy particular deadline

The concept of time travel had fascinated and (9) ____________ Professor Hawking over the decades. In 2009, he staged a (10) ____________ party for time travelers at Cambridge University. He arranged champagne and snacks, and a (11) ____________ saying: "Welcome time travelers". No one from the future attended that (12) ____________ event. A spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which is organizing the memorial service, said he had (13) ____________ to receive a response from any time travelers to attend the memorial service. The (14) ____________ to reserve a place at the June 15 event at London's Westminster Abbey is today. The spokesman said it was (15) ____________ possible. He said: "We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our (16) ____________."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  Time travelers have been invited to attend the ______      a.  memory all service      b.  memorial serviced      c.  memorial service      d.  memory all serviced 2)  Thousands of fans and well-wishers ______ in Cambridge, England      a.  aligned the streets      b.  outlined the streets      c.  lined the streets      d.  maligned the streets 3)  arranged a special ceremony to allow people to remember and ______      a.  celebrates his live      b.  celebrate this life      c.  celebrate his life      d.  celebrate his live 4)  If time travel is possible, where are the tourists ______?      a.  from a future      b.  from then future      c.  from the future      d.  from that future 5)  The online entry form for the memorial allows people with ______ December 31      a.  birth dates upper to      b.  birthing dates up to      c.  birthing dates up two      d.  birth dates up to

6)  The concept of time travel had fascinated and intrigued Professor Hawking ______      a.  over the decadence      b.  over the decades      c.  over the decade is      d.  over their decades 7)  He arranged champagne and snacks, ______      a.  and a banner      b.  and a banter      c.  and a burner      d.  and a banal 8)  No one from the future attended that ______      a.  particularly event      b.  particularize event      c.  particularity event      d.  particular event 9)  The deadline to reserve a place at the ______      a.  June 15 even      b.  June 15 eventual      c.  June 15 event      d.  June 15 events 10)  We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not ______      a.  been this proven      b.  been this proof and      c.  been disproven      d.  been miss proving

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Time travelers have been (1) ___________________ the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The legendary physicist, cosmologist and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers (2) ___________________ in Cambridge, England for his funeral two weeks later. His family has now arranged a special ceremony (3) ___________________ to remember and celebrate his life, and time travelers have been invited. Hawking (4) ___________________ his book "A Brief History of Time" that: "If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?" Now they (5) ___________________ to travel back in time. The online entry form for the memorial (6) ___________________ birth dates up to December 31, 2038 to take part.

The (7) ___________________ travel had fascinated and intrigued Professor Hawking over the decades. In 2009, he (8) ___________________ party for time travelers at Cambridge University. He arranged champagne and snacks, and a banner saying: "Welcome time travelers". No one from the future attended (9) ___________________. A spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which is organizing the memorial service, said he had yet to (10) ___________________ from any time travelers to attend the memorial service. The (11) ___________________ a place at the June 15 event at London's Westminster Abbey is today. The spokesman said it was still possible. He said: "We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not (12) ___________________ our satisfaction."

Comprehension questions

  • When did Stephen Hawking die?
  • How long after his death was Stephen Hawking's funeral?
  • What was Stephen Hawking's book a brief history of?
  • What kind of tourists did Stephen Hawking enquire about?
  • What is the birth date limit for time travelers to apply?
  • What intrigued and fascinated Stephen Hawking?
  • What drink did Stephen Hawking provide for time travelers at a party?
  • How many travelers have so far responded to the invitation?
  • Where in London will the memorial service take place?
  • What did a spokesman say could not be excluded?

Multiple choice quiz

1)  When did Stephen Hawking die? a) March 20 b) March 14 c) March 18 d) March 16 2)  How long after his death was Stephen Hawking's funeral? a) four days b) a week c) two weeks d) 10 days 3)  What was Stephen Hawking's book a brief history of? a) physics b) the cosmos c) space d) time 4)  What kind of tourists did Stephen Hawking enquire about? a) package-holiday tourists b) tourists from the future c) eco-tourists d) American tourists 5)  What is the birth date limit for time travelers to apply? a) December 31, 2028 b) December 31, 2038 c) December 31, 2018 d) December 31, 2098

6)  What intrigued and fascinated Stephen Hawking? a) the notion of time travel b) Cambridge University c) adventure travel d) tourism 7)  What drink did Stephen Hawking provide for time travelers at a party? a) milk b) beer c) Antarctic water d) champagne 8)  How many travelers have so far responded to the invitation? a) 2 b) 1 c) 0 d) 42 9)  Where in London will the memorial service take place? a) Wembley Stadium b) Big Ben c) St Paul's Cathedral d) Westminster Abbey 10)  What did a spokesman say could not be excluded? a) the year 2018 b) the possibility of time travel c) a party d) a Stephen Hawking Day

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'time' ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ and 'travel' . ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________ ________________

• Share your findings with your partners.

• Make questions using the words you found.

• Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

concept 2009 particular yet still exclude legendary lined life tourists opportunity online

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion - Time travelers invited to Stephen Hawking memorial

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  • What did you think when you read the headline?
  • What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'time'?
  • What do you know about Stephen Hawking?
  • What should happen at the memorial service?
  • Would you like to be a time traveler?
  • If you went back in time, what historical event would you change?
  • How would you explain the history of time?
  • What would you ask a tourist from the future?
  • What would time travelers from the past think of today's world?
  • What do you think of the concept of time travel?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  • Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
  • What do you think of when you hear the word 'travel'?
  • What do you think about what you read?
  • What do you know about the cosmos?
  • What period in time would you like to go back or forward to?
  • Would you prefer to travel back or forward in time?
  • How can we prove or disprove time travel?
  • What would time travelers from the future think of today's world?
  • Do you think time travel will be possible one day?
  • What questions would you like to ask a time traveler?

Discussion — Write your own questions

(a) ________________ (b) ________________ (c) ________________ (d) ________________ (e) ________________
(f) ________________ (g) ________________ (h) ________________ (i) ________________ (j) ________________

Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

Time travelers have been (1) ____ to attend the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The legendary physicist, (2) ____ and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers (3) ____ the streets in Cambridge, England for his funeral two weeks later. His family has now arranged a special ceremony to allow people to remember and (4) ____ his life, and time travelers have been invited. Hawking (5) ____ wrote in his book "A Brief History of Time" that: "If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?" Now they have the opportunity to travel back in time. The online entry (6) ____ for the memorial allows people with birth dates up to December 31, 2038 to take part.

The concept of time travel had fascinated and (7) ____ Professor Hawking over the decades. In 2009, he staged a glitzy party for time travelers at Cambridge University. He arranged champagne and snacks, and a (8) ____ saying: "Welcome time travelers". No one from the future attended that particular event. A spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which is organizing the memorial service, said he had (9) ____ to receive a response from any time travelers to attend the memorial service. The deadline to (10) ____ a place at the June 15 event at London's Westminster Abbey is today. The spokesman said it was (11) ____ possible. He said: "We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven (12) ____ our satisfaction."

Which of these words go in the above text?

  • (a)     invites     (b)     inviting     (c)     invitation     (d)     invited    
  • (a)     cosmopolitan     (b)     cosmology     (c)     cosmos     (d)     cosmologist    
  • (a)     pined     (b)     lined     (c)     dined     (d)     fined    
  • (a)     celebratory     (b)     celebration     (c)     celebrate     (d)     celebrated    
  • (a)     famous     (b)     famed     (c)     famously     (d)     famed    
  • (a)     form     (b)     paper     (c)     parchment     (d)     manuscript    
  • (a)     fatigued     (b)     intrigued     (c)     disguised     (d)     imbibed    
  • (a)     banner     (b)     banter     (c)     banal     (d)     banish    
  • (a)     not     (b)     yet     (c)     early     (d)     already    
  • (a)     deserve     (b)     conserve     (c)     reserve     (d)     serve    
  • (a)     calm     (b)     placid     (c)     still     (d)     hush    
  • (a)     up     (b)     at     (c)     of     (d)     to

Paragraph 1

  • travelers have been invited to ndtaet
  • The glrneyeda physicist
  • cooslomtisg and author
  • for his anferul
  • remember and raeebltec his life
  • the yptrnuootpi to travel back in time

Paragraph 2

  • The potncce of time travel
  • fascinated and triuigned Professor Hawking
  • he staged a tzilgy party
  • The eiddaenl to reserve a place
  • We cannot cdxeleu the possibility
  • it has not been ioenpvsrd

Put the text back together

(  1   ) Time travelers have been invited to attend the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The legendary (...)  have been invited. Hawking famously wrote in his book "A Brief History of Time" that: "If time travel (...)  the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction." (...)  The concept of time travel had fascinated and intrigued Professor Hawking over the decades. In 2009, he staged a glitzy (...)  to attend the memorial service. The deadline to reserve a place at the June 15 event at London's Westminster Abbey (...)  party for time travelers at Cambridge University. He arranged champagne and snacks, and a banner (...)  physicist, cosmologist and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers lined (...)  entry form for the memorial allows people with birth dates up to December 31, 2038 to take part. (...)  is today. The spokesman said it was still possible. He said: "We cannot exclude (...)  the streets in Cambridge, England for his funeral two weeks later. His family has now (...)  arranged a special ceremony to allow people to remember and celebrate his life, and time travelers (...)  which is organizing the memorial service, said he had yet to receive a response from any time travelers (...)  is possible, where are the tourists from the future?" Now they have the opportunity to travel back in time. The online (...)  saying: "Welcome time travelers". No one from the future attended that particular event. A spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation,

Put the words in the right order

  • been   invited   to   attend   the   Travelers   service   .   have
  • of   fans   the   lined   well-wishers   streets   .   Thousands   and
  • special   now   His   has   arranged   a   ceremony   .   family
  • They   opportunity   time   .   the   have   in   travel   to
  • birth   People   ,   up   dates   2038   .   with   to   31   December
  • him   .   concept   intrigued   time   travel   The   of   had
  • staged   a   travelers   .   He   glitzy   for   time   party
  • deadline   to   today   .   is   a   reserve   The   place
  • possible   .   The   it   still   was   said   spokesman
  • cannot   exclude   We   the   possibility   of   time   travel   .

Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

Time travelers have been / being invited to attend the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The legendary physicist, cosmologist / cosmology and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers lined / lines the streets in Cambridge, England for his funereal / funeral two weeks later. His family has now arranged a special / specially ceremony to allow people to remember and celebration / celebrate his life, and time travelers have been invited. Hawking famously wrote in his book "A Brief History of Time" that: "If time travel is possibility / possible , where are the tourists from the future?" Now they have the opportunity to travel back in / at time. The online entry form / from for the memorial allows people with birth dates up to December 31, 2038 to take party / part .

The concept / conceptual of time travel had fascinated and intrigued Professor Hawking over the decadence / decades . In 2009, he staged / staggered a glitzy party for time travelers at Cambridge University. He arranged champagne and snacks, and a banter / banner saying: "Welcome time travelers". No one from the future attended / attention that particular event. A spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which is organizing the memorial service, said he had yet for / to receive a response from any time travelers to attend the memorial service. The lifeline / deadline to reserve a place / plaice at the June 15 event at London's Westminster Abbey is today. The spokesman said it was still possible. He said: "We cannot exclude / exclusion the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction / satisfactory ."

Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

T_m_ t r_v_l_r s h_v_ b__ n _n v_t_d t_ _t t_n d t h_ m_m_r__ l s_r v_c_ f_r P r_f_s s_r S t_p h_n H_w k_n g . T h_ l_g_n d_r y p h y s_c_s t , c_s m_l_g_s t _n d __ t h_r d__ d _n M_r c h 1 4 . T h__ s_n d s _f f_n s _n d w_l l - w_s h_r s l_n_d t h_ s t r__ t s _n C_m b r_d g_, E n g l_n d f_r h_s f_n_r_l t w_ w__ k s l_t_r . H_s f_m_l y h_s n_w _r r_n g_d _ s p_c__ l c_r_m_n y t_ _l l_w p__ p l_ t_ r_m_m b_r _n d c_l_b r_t_ h_s l_f_, _n d t_m_ t r_v_l_r s h_v_ b__ n _n v_t_d . H_w k_n g f_m__ s l y w r_t_ _n h_s b__ k " A B r__ f H_s t_r y _f T_m_" t h_t : " I f t_m_ t r_v_l _s p_s s_b l_, w h_r_ _r_ t h_ t__ r_s t s f r_m t h_ f_t_r_? " N_w t h_y h_v_ t h_ _p p_r t_n_t y t_ t r_v_l b_c k _n t_m_. T h_ _n l_n_ _n t r y f_r m f_r t h_ m_m_r__ l _l l_w s p__ p l_ w_t h b_r t h d_t_s _p t_ D_c_m b_r 3 1 , 2 0 3 8 t_ t_k_ p_r t .

T h_ c_n c_p t _f t_m_ t r_v_l h_d f_s c_n_t_d _n d _n t r_g__ d P r_f_s s_r H_w k_n g _v_r t h_ d_c_d_s . I n 2 0 0 9 , h_ s t_g_d _ g l_t z y p_r t y f_r t_m_ t r_v_l_r s _t C_m b r_d g_ U n_v_r s_t y . H_ _r r_n g_d c h_m p_g n_ _n d s n_c k s , _n d _ b_n n_r s_y_n g : " W_l c_m_ t_m_ t r_v_l_r s " . N_ _n_ f r_m t h_ f_t_r_ _t t_n d_d t h_t p_r t_c_l_r _v_n t . A s p_k_s m_n f_r t h_ S t_p h_n H_w k_n g F__ n d_t__ n , w h_c h _s _r g_n_z_n g t h_ m_m_r__ l s_r v_c_, s__ d h_ h_d y_t t_ r_c__ v_ _ r_s p_n s_ f r_m _n y t_m_ t r_v_l_r s t_ _t t_n d t h_ m_m_r__ l s_r v_c_. T h_ d__ d l_n_ t_ r_s_r v_ _ p l_c_ _t t h_ J_n_ 1 5 _v_n t _t L_n d_n ' s W_s t m_n s t_r A b b_y _s t_d_y . T h_ s p_k_s m_n s__ d _t w_s s t_l l p_s s_b l_. H_ s__ d : " W_ c_n n_t _x c l_d_ t h_ p_s s_b_l_t y _f t_m_ t r_v_l _s _t h_s n_t b__ n d_s p r_v_n t_ __ r s_t_s f_c t__ n . "

Punctuate the text and add capitals

time travelers have been invited to attend the memorial service for professor stephen hawking the legendary physicist cosmologist and author died on march 14 thousands of fans and wellwishers lined the streets in cambridge england for his funeral two weeks later his family has now arranged a special ceremony to allow people to remember and celebrate his life and time travelers have been invited hawking famously wrote in his book a brief history of time that if time travel is possible where are the tourists from the future now they have the opportunity to travel back in time the online entry form for the memorial allows people with birth dates up to december 31 2038 to take part

the concept of time travel had fascinated and intrigued professor hawking over the decades in 2009 he staged a glitzy party for time travelers at cambridge university he arranged champagne and snacks and a banner saying welcome time travelers no one from the future attended that particular event a spokesman for the stephen hawking foundation which is organizing the memorial service said he had yet to receive a response from any time travelers to attend the memorial service the deadline to reserve a place at the june 15 event at londons westminster abbey is today the spokesman said it was still possible he said we cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction"

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

TimetravelershavebeeninvitedtoattendthememorialserviceforProfe ssorStephenHawking.Thelegendaryphysicist,cosmologistandautho rdiedonMarch14.Thousandsoffansandwell-wisherslinedthestree tsinCambridge,Englandforhisfuneraltwoweekslater.Hisfamilyhasno warrangedaspecialceremonytoallowpeopletorememberandcelebrat ehislife,andtimetravelershavebeeninvited.Hawkingfamouslywrotei nhisbook"ABriefHistoryofTime"that:"Iftimetravelispossible,wherea rethetouristsfromthefuture?"Nowtheyhavetheopportunitytotravelb ackintime.Theonlineentryformforthememorialallowspeoplewithbirt hdatesuptoDecember31,2038totakepart.Theconceptoftimetravelh adfascinatedandintriguedProfessorHawkingoverthedecades.In200 9,hestagedaglitzypartyfortimetravelersatCambridgeUniversity.Hea rrangedchampagneandsnacks,andabannersaying:"Welcometimetr avelers".Noonefromthefutureattendedthatparticularevent.Aspokes manfortheStephenHawkingFoundation,whichisorganizingthememo rialservice,saidhehadyettoreceivearesponsefromanytimetravelerst oattendthememorialservice.ThedeadlinetoreserveaplaceattheJune 15eventatLondon'sWestminsterAbbeyistoday.Thespokesmansaidit wasstillpossible.Hesaid:"Wecannotexcludethepossibilityoftimetrav elasithasnotbeendisproventooursatisfaction."

Free writing

Write about time travel for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Academic writing

It would be great if we could travel backwards and forwards in time. Discuss.

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word. 2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson. 3. STEPHEN HAWKING: Make a poster about Stephen Hawking. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things? 4. TIME TRAVEL: Write a magazine article about time travel. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s). 5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles. 6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on time travel. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on time travel. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

A Few Additional Activities for Students

Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

  • Pre-reading / Post-reading
  • Using headlines
  • Working with words
  • While-reading / While-listening
  • Moving from text to speech
  • Post-reading / Post-listening
  • Discussions
  • Using opinions
  • Using lists
  • Using quotes
  • Task-based activities
  • Using the central characters in the article
  • Using themes from the news

Buy my book

(Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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“Traveling” or “Travelling”—Which is Correct?

Marko Ticak

It’s wonderful to travel—to meet new people, see new places, experience different cultures, live life the way life is lived somewhere else. Plenty of good things are associated with travel, but there’s one particular issue that can make traveling annoying: the spelling.

Travel is easy enough to spell, but the words  traveling , traveler , and  traveled  are a common cause of confusion because some people spell them with one l while others use two.

Traveling or travelling depends on where your audience is. Traveling is the preferred spelling in the United States. Travelling is the preferred spelling in the UK or in the Commonwealth. This American-British spelling difference carries for other forms: traveled or travelled and traveler or traveller.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is polished wherever you write.

Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

Traveling or travelling : What’s the difference? 

Technically both are correct, but the difference in spelling comes from the split of British and American English. 

  •  traveling with one l is American English
  • travelling with two l s is British English

Traveling vs. travelling

The word travel has more than one syllable —it’s a multisyllabic word. In American English, when a multisyllabic word ends in a vowel and a consonant (in that order), you double the consonant when adding a suffix only if the stress falls on the final syllable. For instance, in the word repel , the stress falls on the final syllable, which means that you double the consonant when you add a suffix: repelling . But in travel , the stress falls on the first syllable, so there’s no doubling.

By now, you probably know when to use which spelling—it should conform to the place your audience is. If you’re writing a paper for a college class in the United States, you should use the shorter spelling. However, if you live in the United States but are applying for a job in Australia, you could instead choose to use the spelling they prefer.

Traveling and travelling e xamples

As a visitor traveling from the United States, you must obtain a visa, which you can apply for before you leave for Cuba. —Conde Nast Traveler

As the reporters who traveled to the Group of 20 summit meeting with President Obama from Hawaii piled out and walked under the wing to record his arrival… —The New York Times

​Passengers travelling to Bristol Airport are being urged to leave extra time as roadworks clog up a major link road for an entire month. —Bristol Post

time travel grammar

time travel grammar

Time Travel

"If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?" Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018), British theoretical physicist
  • January 15, 2022
  • General English
  • One Comment

Home » Time Travel

Latest lesson plans

The Circular Economy

This free ESL lesson plan on time travel has been designed for adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

If you could travel back in time, you would have to be careful not to change anything as to affect the future. One or two winning lottery tickets is enough; winning the lottery every single week, and people would surely start to suspect that something was off. But perhaps changing the past doesn’t change your future but create a new one. Or maybe history always included your future self travelling back in time to make the changes that would create the present, and there was no way to avoid this. Another possibility is that you go back in time, and any changes you make are automatically corrected by the Universe to preserve a future that already exists. Do these outcomes mean that future, fate, and destiny are predetermined? In this ESL lesson plan on time travel, students will have the opportunity to discuss and express their opinions on issues such as which periods from history they would like to see, the science of time travel, and whether the future is predetermined.

This lesson plan could also be used with your students to debate these issues for Pretend To Be A Time Traveller Day , which takes place in December. For more lesson plans on international days and important holidays, see the  calendar of world days  to plan your classes for these special occasions.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and  other lesson plans  on this site, see the  guide for ESL teachers .

PRE-CLASS ACTIVITIES

Reading activity Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

CBR | 10 Sci-Fi Movies Where Time Travel Actually Makes Sense

The article contains a list of time travel movies that portray time travel logically, including 12 Monkeys, Planet of the Apes, and Back to the Future. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was said? Can they think of any ways they might disagree with the content of the article?

Video activity To save time in class for the conversation activities, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below and answer the listening questions in Section 3 of the lesson plan at home. The questions for the video are styled in a way similar to an exam like the IELTS.

The video for this class is called “Is Time Travel Possible?” by Science Time which looks at some of the physics theories that could allow for time travel to happen.

IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES

The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means and if they agree with it. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including which historical figures the students would like to meet, which past events should be changed, and what they would tell their past selves.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with time travel such as time machine , alternate timeline and time loop . This vocabulary has been chosen to boost the students’ knowledge of less common vocabulary that could be useful for preparing for English exams like IELTS or TOEFL. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the listening questions. Before checking the answers, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about time travel. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as what they would like to see in the future, whether they would like to know their own future, and how people predict the future today.

After the class, students will write about what they would do if they had a time machine. This could be a short paragraph or a longer piece of writing depending on what level the student is at. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise and improve their grammar with the feedback from their teacher. For students who intend to take an international English exam such as IELTS or TOEFL, there is an alternative essay question to practise their essay-writing skills.

DOWNLOAD LESSON PLANS

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A Piece of Travel

A Piece of Travel

18 Cities Travelers Say Are the Most Beautiful They’ve Seen

Posted: November 28, 2023 | Last updated: November 28, 2023

<p>Are you bit by the travel bug? Take some time to daydream about where to go next. Travelers took to the internet to share the most stunning cities they’ve visited. </p> <p><em>Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.</em></p>

Are you bit by the travel bug? Take some time to daydream about where to go next. Travelers took to the internet to share the most stunning cities they’ve visited. 

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

<p><strong>Population:</strong> Approximately 10.33 million.</p>

1: Out of This World

“Lisbon seemed to me like a city out of another world,” a traveler who fell in love with the Portuguese capital said. Another agreed that Lisbon is a stunning visit. “Beautiful architecture (both old and new), and it’s right on the water and is hilly, so it is so beautiful from above.” 

<p>San Miguel de Allende is no stranger to T + L’s best cities list, though locals may be disappointed it didn’t take spot number one as it did in 2021. The colonial city, located in Mexico’s central highlands, is a popular home for expats. And it’s no wonder, given the city’s colorful buildings, active central square, and vibrant arts scene.</p>

2: Great Place to Start

Some said Guanajuato, Mexico’s architecture, walkability, and “tucked in the mountains” feel makes for a beautiful destination. One person adds that while it’s a shame how touristy San Miguel has become, “it’s a great starting point for people eager to explore more of Mexico if they’ve only been to the resort towns.” 

<p>One wanderer had nothing short of a winter wonderland experience when they arrived at their snowy Chamonix, France, accommodations. “I arrived at night. I opened the window and curtain, and it literally felt like I was opening a Christmas storybook.”</p>

3: Snow Globe Vibes

One wanderer had nothing short of a winter wonderland experience when they arrived at their snowy Chamonix, France, accommodations. “I arrived at night. I opened the window and curtain, and it literally felt like I was opening a Christmas storybook.”

<p>It’s likely little surprise to many that the birthplace of the Renaissance is one of the most beloved cities in the world by travelers. Florence’s Duomo is a photographer’s delight, while the Arno River mesmerizes visitors as they dine on iconic Italian cuisine. </p>

4: Can’t Go Wrong

One traveler basically says you can throw a dart at a map of Italy and land on a breathtaking city. “Florence, Italy, everywhere is full of art.” Another adventurer agreed. “The city itself is both a masterpiece and like a museum at the same time.” 

<p>Protests aren’t overly common in Vietnam, but they can happen. If you encounter a protest in Vietnam, leave the area immediately. </p>

5: Lucky Visitor

Although they wouldn’t necessarily call it a city, one globetrotter said Ninh Binh, Vietnam, was the most beautiful place they’ve seen. They describe the mountains as stunning and say how grateful they are to have had the opportunity to visit there.

<p>Tokyo’s combination of timeless traditions and modern technology make it one of the best cities in the world. Towering skyscrapers give the city urban energy, while the Imperial Palace and Japanese gardens scattered about offer tranquil retreats.</p>

6: Winter Wonderland

Another snowy paradise one traveler experienced was in Tokyo. “Loved every single minute I spent there just walking around and going down side streets,” they said. “Something about being lost in a foreign place where you can’t read or speak anything was just a feeling I have never experienced before.”

<p>One jet-setter said despite naysayers saying the climate is terrible, Edinburgh, Scotland was gorgeous. “They had those impossibly blue Himalayan poppies in the botanic garden when I visited. A climate that can grow something like that is fine with me.” </p>

7: Flower Power

One jet-setter said despite naysayers saying the climate is terrible, Edinburgh, Scotland was gorgeous. “They had those impossibly blue Himalayan poppies in the botanic garden when I visited. A climate that can grow something like that is fine with me.” 

<p><strong>Population:</strong> Approximately 59 million.</p>

8: Stunning Sights

Many globetrotters mentioned Venice, Italy, as being the most beautiful city, even with its seasonal tourists. “Especially at night when the crows clear out and you can explore the back alley and empty squares,” one visitor said. “It was a magical place.” 

<p>One solo traveler was brought to tears by the beauty they saw in Granada, Spain, in 2017. “I first made it up to the Mirador San Nicolas and looked at dusk at the Alhambra and Generalife. There was a flamenco guitarist and not too many tourists, surprisingly,” they said. “It was breathtaking.”</p>

9: A Tearful Trip

One solo traveler was brought to tears by the beauty they saw in Granada, Spain, in 2017. “I first made it up to the Mirador San Nicolas and looked at dusk at the Alhambra and Generalife. There was a flamenco guitarist and not too many tourists, surprisingly,” they said. “It was breathtaking.”

<p>Cape Town is the first city on this list to take the limelight away from South America. The South African coastal city is a sought-after tourist spot. But with a homicide rate of over 66 per 100,000 people, travelers must use caution. The Cape Flats and Khayelitsha districts are some of the worst offenders.</p>

10: Nothing Compares

One person says their friend went on a semester at sea and saw all parts of the world, and nothing compared to Cape Town, South Africa. “I’m sure words can’t describe what it’s like, but the unrivaled enthusiasm gets the rest of us halfway there.” 

<p>The Sydney Opera House in Australia restricts using cameras and selfie sticks within its main performance area. Furthermore, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority must authorize individuals hoping to snap a picture if they intend to use such images commercially.</p>

11: Endless Summer

“I could never get over Sydney,” one tourist said about the popular Australian destination. “The whole city seemed suspended in a long summer weekend.” A Sydney lover responded, “I scrolled to find this! Something about Australia just touched my soul.” 

<p>Kyoto, Japan, took the cake for one traveler for its beautiful architecture with ancient shrines and temples, rolling green hills, pink cherry blossoms, and other gorgeous plants. “Just Google it,” they urged. “You won’t be disappointed.” </p>

12: See for Yourself

Kyoto, Japan, took the cake for one traveler for its beautiful architecture with ancient shrines and temples, rolling green hills, pink cherry blossoms, and other gorgeous plants. “Just Google it,” they urged. “You won’t be disappointed.” 

<p><strong>Population:</strong> Approximately 10.5 million.</p>

13: Living Like a Tourist

“I lived in Prague for a couple of years and would still sometimes walk around with my mouth agape like a slack-jawed tourist,” one traveler said. “I could be flat broke and still enjoy just walking around drinking it all in.” A Prague-lover seconded their statement, “I’ve been there on many, many occasions, and it’s still my favorite European city.” 

<p>Belgium knows how to take care of its retirees, so foreigners looking to retire there can expect to feel welcomed and safe. Retirees who wish to move permanently to Belgium must prove that they’re retired and have a pension-like fund to withdraw from.</p>

14: Unreal Views

One adventurer was surprised they had to be the first to mention Bruges, Belgium. “Either people haven’t been there or forgot to say it,” they said. “It’s like a fairytale!” The small Belgian city is known for its canals, medieval cobbled streets, and buildings. 

<p>Regarding natural beauty, a few people said Vancouver can’t be beat. “I found Vancouver prettier than fairytale cities in Europe,” one traveler said. “I don’t know a soul there, but I frequent that city because it’s so beautiful.” Another added, “Vancouver and its surroundings were breathtaking.” </p>

15: All Natural

Regarding natural beauty, a few people said Vancouver can’t be beat. “I found Vancouver prettier than fairytale cities in Europe,” one traveler said. “I don’t know a soul there, but I frequent that city because it’s so beautiful.” Another added, “Vancouver and its surroundings were breathtaking.” 

16: City of Love

Sometimes, things are cliche for a reason. Many Paris visitors said it’s the most beautiful place they’ve seen. “I constantly think about the Eiffel Tower lit up at night,” they said. “I studied here and fell in love with it and have made it a goal to make others fall in love too,” another added. “It’s full of magic.”

<p>Coming in at number two, Singapore had a resounding 73% of its surveyed population in favor of change. The island nation is a prime example of how education played a role in Pew Research Center's survey results; nearly 80% of the college-educated population favored change while only 62% of those with less education agreed. </p>

17: Perfect Mix

“Singapore was pretty unique and beautiful,” one traveler says, comparing it to a marriage of modern city architecture and immersive trees/foliage. “You have interesting builds like the Garden by the Bay (the super trees and dome gardens). And I like the contrast against the chaos of the hawker stalls and beautiful temples.” 

<p>If you want to go back in history, St. Petersburg is like “getting off of a boat and stepping into 1910,” says one traveler. Another says the Russian city is straight out of a fairytale, “Especially in Winter. Made some beautiful memories there.” But due to current political conditions, a visit to Russia will likely have to stay on your bucket list until the US Department of State <a href="https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/russia-travel-advisory.html" rel="noreferrer noopener">deems it safe</a>.</p><p>Source: <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/solotravel/comments/r7l00g/what_is_the_most_beautiful_city_youve_been_to/" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Reddit</a>. </p>

18: Blast From the Past

If you want to go back in history, St. Petersburg is like “getting off of a boat and stepping into 1910,” says one traveler. Another says the Russian city is straight out of a fairytale, “Especially in Winter. Made some beautiful memories there.” But due to current political conditions, a visit to Russia will likely have to stay on your bucket list until the US Department of State deems it safe .

Source: Reddit . 

<p>Are you guilty of falling into these embarrassing American tourist stereotypes? Some are harmless, many are annoying, and a few are rude.</p> <p><a href="https://www.apieceoftravel.com/american-tourist-stereotypes/" rel="noreferrer noopener">17 Embarrassing American Tourist Stereotypes</a></p> <p>This <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ydekn/yesterday_the_plane_i_was_on_hit_some_very/" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">thread</a> inspired this post.</p> <p>This article was produced and syndicated by <a href="http://apieceoftravel.com/nightmare-turbulence-stories/" rel="noreferrer noopener">A Piece of Travel</a>.</p>

Embarrassing Americans

Let’s face it: American travelers can be embarrassing. Find out if you’re guilty of falling into these embarrassing American tourist stereotypes.

Foreigners Spill the Beans on the 17 Annoying Signs They’re Dealing With an American Tourist

<p>Another user agrees, saying, “It’s obviously the lack of [a] return ticket, which mind you, you need in many countries. Whether you ‘intended’ to travel on or not is irrelevant. They assumed she was fleeing and trying to stay.”</p>

20 Things Foreigners Take Too Seriously About the US

Yellow American cheese and horrible gaps in bathroom stalls, anyone? Americans shed light on what foreigners get all wrong about The Land of the Free.

20 Things Foreigners Take Too Seriously About the US According to Americans

<p>New York City and Los Angeles, be gone. These are the most forgotten U.S. cities that Americans want fellow citizens and foreigners to visit.</p><p><a href="https://www.apieceoftravel.com/forgotten-us-cities/" rel="noreferrer noopener">15 “Forgotten” U.S. Cities That Americans Urge Tourists to Visit</a></p>

15 “Forgotten” US Cities

New York City and Los Angeles, be gone. These are the most forgotten U.S. cities that Americans want fellow citizens and foreigners to visit.

15 “Forgotten” U.S. Cities That Americans Urge Tourists to Visit

<p>Can’t get a passport in time for your trip? Check out these countries Americans can travel to without a passport.</p><p><a href="https://www.apieceoftravel.com/countries-americans-can-travel-to-without-a-passport/" rel="noreferrer noopener">6 Countries Americans Can Travel to Without a Passport</a></p>

6 Countries Americans Can Travel to Without a Passport

Can’t get a passport in time for your trip? Check out these countries Americans can travel to without a passport.

<p>Do you dream about quitting your job to travel the world? Read the raw and heartwarming stories of travel bloggers who were in your shoes.</p> <ul>   <li><a href="https://www.apieceoftravel.com/bloggers-that-quit-their-jobs/" rel="noreferrer noopener">17 Bloggers That Quit Their Jobs to Travel</a></li>  </ul> <p>This article was produced and syndicated by <a href="https://www.apieceoftravel.com/heaviest-countries-in-the-world/" rel="noreferrer noopener">A Piece of Travel</a>.</p>

17 Bloggers That Quit Their Jobs to Travel

Do you dream about quitting your job to travel the world? Read the raw and heartwarming stories of travel bloggers who were in your shoes.

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IMAGES

  1. Time travel

    time travel grammar

  2. Time Traveling Verb Tense Sort by Teaching with Pizzazz

    time travel grammar

  3. Tenses

    time travel grammar

  4. Is Time Travel Possible?

    time travel grammar

  5. Time travel

    time travel grammar

  6. English conversation class: Time Travel

    time travel grammar

VIDEO

  1. Is time travel possible ? #shorts

  2. ‼️ TIME TRAVEL ⏱️

  3. This Is Time Travel

  4. The perfect use of time travel…

  5. Time travel is real…😳 #joerogan #joeroganexperience #podcast #joeroganpodcast

  6. Unraveling Time: Debunking Myths and Revealing Facts about Time Travel

COMMENTS

  1. Attempt at formulating verb tenses when time travel is involved?

    5 Answers Sorted by: 12 A quick Google search turns up a couple of interesting attempts: Time Travel Tenses Time Travelling Grammar But of course I think the best way to address this is simply to wait. Once time travel is invented, people will fully sort it out and grow accustomed to it within a hundred years or so. Share Improve this answer Follow

  2. Back-to-the-Future Tense: How Does Time Travel Affect Grammar?

    The grammar problem posed by time travel was also explored in 1980, in Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I was inspired to look up what he wrote, and was hoping to ...

  3. Quote by Douglas Adams: "One of the major problems encountered in time

    The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it.

  4. Time-Travel Tense Trouble

    Time-Travel Tense Trouble Main Laconic Quotes Haiku VideoExamples Create New Lister: We don't exist here anymore! Kryten: Actually sir, we don't ever have existed here anymore, but this is hardly the time to be conjugating temporal verbs in the past impossible never tense! — Red Dwarf (Try saying that ten times fast.)

  5. Time travel grammar @ Things Of Interest

    Time travel grammar @ Things Of Interest 2012-03-26 by qntm "Dude, are you hungry? I haven't eaten since later this afternoon." It is often held that time travel is difficult to talk about because of shortfalls in the English language.

  6. Time Travel Grammar

    4 I recently watched a scene from the tv sitcom The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon explaining English grammar about time travel (related with the use of have, has, had ...), is his explanation even grammatically correct? Here's the script Howard: Something doesn't make sense. Look.

  7. 5 Tips on Writing Time Travel That Works

    After reading multiple time travel stories, I noticed that it often took 50 to 100 pages to engage the reader in character and conflict and set up the time travel. Following this example allowed me to keep Elizabeth's growth front and center rather than letting time travel take over the whole story. 5. Keeping the focus on the character arc.

  8. grammar

    Speaking in 3001 - Winston, from the year 1984, came to the year 3001 and bought a hoverboard. Speaking in 3212 - Winston, from the year 1984, went to the year 3001 and bought a hoverboard. The vital verb is 'to go'. It refers to leaving and therefore the time of leaving. If you use 'come' then it refers to the time of arrival.

  9. BBT: English grammar in time travel problem

    Hillarious fragment from Big Bang Theory with analysis of time travel problem from "Back to the future II"

  10. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    The major problem is simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr. Dan Streetmentioner's Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations. It will tell you, for instance, how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you avoided it by time-jumping forward two days in order to avoid it.

  11. ️ Time Travel Grammar! Journey Through the Ages in This ...

    Embark on a time travel grammar quest! 🕰️⏳ Journey through the ages in this short quiz and discover language nuances across different eras. Join the time-tr...

  12. h2g2

    The Grammar of Time Travel Created Jul 29, 2003 | Updated Jul 29, 2003 1 Conversation — One of the major problems encountered in time travel not that of becoming your own mother or father. There is no problem involved in becoming your own mother or father that a broad-minded and well-adjusted family can't cope with.

  13. Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations

    Time Traveler's Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations is a grammar book by Dr. Dan Streetmentioner. It is about what tense formations to use when discussing time travel, and is supposedly "the main work to consult on this matter". However, the book is exceptionally confusing, and most readers only...

  14. Time Travel. Speaking exercise

    To time travel Grammar to use in your online English conversation class The 2nd conditional is used to talk about completely hypothetical things in the future, and has the following structure: if + past simple | would Examples: If I could time travel, I would go to the year 2300. (Is time travel possible? No! So it's a hypothetical situation).

  15. The time travel plumber

    Priya and the plumber from TimeTech Insurance company looked around at her flooded kitchen. She hadn't been to the house for weeks. A few months ago, she had moved back to live with her parents to save money because Charlie's hospital bills were so high. She had hoped to sell the house before this but, so far, no one had been interested.

  16. Should "time travel" be hyphenated? : r/grammar

    I think time travel is a compound noun, where two or more nouns/words come together to make a new noun with different meaning. In that case hyphen is not necessary. Like bus stop or swimming pool. r/grammar.

  17. Time Travel: A Pilot's Strange Tale And A Scientist's Lifelong Dream

    We've all seen movies and TV shows where the characters have traveled through time, or used a time machine. These are usually science fiction movies, but some scientists say time travel is possible in theory. There are also some people who claim to have actually done it. Image by Hartwig HKD License: (CC BY-ND 2.0)

  18. Time Travel ESL Speaking Questions

    Time Travel ESL Speaking Questions. B1 and B2 Level Speaking - Time Travel ESL Speaking. Have you seen any time traveling movies? Suggestions: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - Anime, Back to the future, Edge of tomorrow, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Do you think that people will achieve time travel in the future?

  19. Past Tense of Travel: Traveling Back in Time

    The correct answer would be "went.". Matching: In this exercise, you will be given a list of past tense verbs and a list of travel-related words. Your task is to match the past tense verb with the correct travel-related word. For example, "flew" would match with "airplane.".

  20. ESL Lesson Plan on Time Travel

    The Reading / Listening - Time Travel - Level 6. Time travelers have been invited to attend the memorial service for Professor Stephen Hawking. The legendary physicist, cosmologist and author died on March 14. Thousands of fans and well-wishers lined the streets in Cambridge, England for his funeral two weeks later.

  21. "Traveling" or "Travelling"—Which is Correct?

    Travelling is the preferred spelling in the UK or in the Commonwealth. This American-British spelling difference carries for other forms: traveled or travelled and traveler or traveller. Here's a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes.

  22. The 4 Do's and Don'ts of Time Travel

    Well, let one of science fiction's greatest authors lend you a hand. Here are 4 of Orson Scott Card's Do's and Don'ts of Time Travel: 1. If you go back in time, you can make any changes you want in the past and you'll continue to exist, because the very act of traveling in time takes you outside the timestream and removes you from the effects ...

  23. Time Travel

    Time Travel. This free ESL lesson plan on time travel has been designed for adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student. If you could travel back in time, you would have to be careful not to change anything as to affect the future.

  24. 18 Cities Travelers Say Are the Most Beautiful They've Seen

    During the summer months, popular cities like Berlin come alive with riverside swimming spots and canal-side clubbing, while the Christmas markets in Cologne and Düsseldorf usher in a different ...