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This is the headline from the brochure of a leading car maker:

Isn't it time you shift to a smarter drive?

In my opinion, the correct sentence would be:

Isn't it time you shifted to a smarter drive?

Am I right?
New Member31
It is time you shift
uses the subjunctive shift, as with require/demand verbs:
It is required that you shift
which has the (mainly) BrE equivalent of
It is required that you should shift
(see Swan, Practical English Usage, Subjunctive, Should)

I think your version could be also valid, but suggesting less of a mandatory/presssing requirement and more of a doubt.

Both versions are used at Google, with yours being more frequent (and present on a university site here):

-----
Perhaps it's time you shift your focus off of yourself and
this incident which most rescuers/volunteers encounter and onto the
greater good of a difficult cause.

http://www.planetfeedback.com/index.php?level2=blog_viewpost&topic_id=285690
-----
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If you love what you do, if your business lights you up, you wish you
could attract more clients--but you're confused about marketing and
you just hate to sell, then it's time you shifted the way you think
about getting clients...

http://www.uh.edu/academics/dce/gen/conf.html
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Veteran Member11,673
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It seems to me the difference between 'shift' and 'shifted' is a degree/how much that a car company wants you to shift.
Full Member414
Calive
This is the headline from the brochure of a leading car maker:

Isn't it time you shift to a smarter drive?

In my opinion, the correct sentence would be:

Isn't it time you shifted to a smarter drive?

Am I right?

Well, there are several combinations

  • Isn't it time to [do something] = I wonder if it is time to [do something]
  • Isn't it time you do/go/… = A way to say someone that it is about time for him to do something, either to remind him or to order him or…
  • Isn't it time you did/went/… = You missed something but now you ask if that was about time for you to have done it at all
  • Isn't it time you did/went/… = Isn't it time when you did/went/… you ask if some past event had happened simultaneously with another past event
  • Isn't it time you did/went/… = You express a desire something to happen though it looks it is not going to (Isn't it time he/you resigned?, Isn't it time he/you gave up?)


  • You can use other pronouns not only you, for example we, but with he/she/it/they the sentence has to be carefully tailored.

    Not to forget the other usages

    • Isn’t it time we do not have? (we do not have time)
    • Isn’t it time that this program is going to squander far beyond our expectations?
    • Isn’t it time for out meeting?
    • Isn’t it time?


      • Isn't it time you shift to a smarter drive? a reminder or request
      • Isn't it time you shifted to a smarter drive? a missed event, desire or reference to another past event
Full Member409
AperisicWell, there are several combinations
  • Isn't it time you did/went/… = Isn't it time when you did/went/… you ask if some past event had happened simultaneously with another past event
Not to forget the other usages
  • Isn’t it time that this program is going to squander far beyond our expectations?
I don't see:
- the point about past simultaneity in the first; I don't see how you can make it;
- the point of using "squander" in the 2nd (it makes the phrase nonsensical); also I doubt that "is going to" is correct in that context.
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Welkins2139It seems to me the difference between 'shift' and 'shifted' is a degree/how much that a car company wants you to shift.
Yes, that is the commercial/marketing point of the different phrasing.
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CaliveThis is the headline from the brochure of a leading car maker:

Isn't it time you shift to a smarter drive?

In my opinion, the correct sentence would be:

Isn't it time you shifted to a smarter drive?

OK, I've consulted several very educated native speakers, just to eliminate my subjectivity.

The majority consent is that shifted is the correct one (as the quotation from the university site indicated). I would, as a result, use it in this context.

While some accept both, some are adamant that shiftis incorrect, and I respect the prescriptivistsEmotion: smile. Others are saying that "it could be okay if it's taken to have an imperative tone rather than being a mere recommendation. "

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Thanks for your replies. I found something on this subject

by BBC. It explains the rather strange use of simple past tense.
Calive... by BBC. It explains the rather strange use of simple past tense.
Not that strange. Some consider it just another form of subjunctive.
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