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Can you suggest a time that we can meet and discuss the problem?

Is there anything wrong with this sentence? I thought it should be when, not that.

  • The mistake is in posting a proofreading question. There's nothing wrong with the cited text. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 27 '18 at 18:07
  • @FumbleFingers a time, that are correct? – Mohamed Magdy Jan 27 '18 at 18:11
  • I can't think of a better way of saying it. What makes you think it might not be okay? Note that you should have asked: "a time", is that correct? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 27 '18 at 18:22
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    oic - You could also ask Can you suggest a time when we can meet and discuss the problem? That's fine too. Offhand I don't know which is more common overall, but I think I'd usually use that myself. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 27 '18 at 18:25
  • @FumbleFingers Can you explain how it is correct sentence? – Mohamed Magdy Jan 27 '18 at 18:33
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I didn't immediately see anything unusual in OP's cited text. Until I realised that in fact, the sequence a time that is relatively uncommon compared to a time when.

It's not easy to find the evidence for my position here, but I think the modern trend is to simplify relativizer usage by either...

1) omit the relativizer completely. OP's example would also be fine as...
Can you suggest a time we can meet and discuss the problem?

2) use that instead of "temporal-context-specific" when

Note that #2 above also happens with who (context-specific for people) I think that since John is the man that I saw is more "generic, simpler" than John is the man who I saw, it's gaining ground.

Ditto where (context-specific relativizer for location), where Is there a place that we can talk? or plain Is there a place we can talk? are more generic than ...place where we can talk.


For what it's worth, Google Books claims 6 hits for (Can) you suggest a date that (is convenient)?, but only 2 for ...you suggest a date when... A small sample size, but it suits my position.

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