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In Friends series, season 10 episode 2, at minute 22:20, Ross tells Joey

"Well then, maybe it's time we all moved on".

Why he says "moved on" and not "move on"?

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Both are possible.

Moved makes it counterfactual (in the same way as "if we moved on") - it implies "we haven't moved/aren't moving on, but what about if we did!"

Move is not counterfactual - it is not saying anything about whether or not we are already moving on.

Because these are both really about the future, the difference in meaning is slight.

  • Thank you. Is it used in formal written English as well or it's just spoken English? – R. Javid May 15 at 23:31
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    I'm not sure what the it is in your question, but both these forms are standard parts of the language, used in speech and writing. – Colin Fine May 15 at 23:36
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    @R.Javid It's time is always followed by a past simple in this context, it's kind of a fixed structure or idiom! dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/it-s-time – Cardinal May 16 at 2:59
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    @Cardinal: I agree that the past is much more likely here, and I agree with the Cambridge Dictionary that "It's time we go home" doesn't work. But I don't find anything odd about "Maybe it's time we all move on". I think it's the "maybe" that makes a difference, but I'm not sure. – Colin Fine May 16 at 17:18

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