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What's the correct way of expressing the action of opening a bridge?

Do you think we can make it by the time of the opening of the bridge?

Do you think we can make it by the time of bridge opening?

Do you think we can make it by the time of the opening the bridge?

Do you think we can make it by the time of the bridge opening?

or anything else?

  • Do you think we can make it before the bridge opens?, if it's a "moveable bridge" that regularly opens / closes to alternate between allowing land or water-based transport to pass. For a one-off opening ceremony, your options #1 & #4 are fine. – FumbleFingers Jun 23 at 15:02
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Sentences 1 and 4 are correct.
"the opening of the bridge" and "the bridge opening" mean the same.
Sentences 2 and 3 don't work. Each requires an extra word, which converts them into 4 and 1 respectively, for them to make proper sense.

  • I find it interesting that Can we make it by the time the movie starts? and Can we make it before the movie starts? both seem to be okay, but whereas Can we make it before he leaves? also seems fine, I can't really get my head around Can we make it by the time he leaves? I think learners would do better to stick with before wherever that seems capable of conveying the intended sense. – FumbleFingers Jun 23 at 15:09
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    @FumbleFingers Then there is also the possibility of Can we make it in time for the movie – Peter Jennings Jun 23 at 15:17
  • "I can't really get my head around Can we make it by the time he leaves?" - Could it be because if the movie starts it is still there (in the movie theater), while if he leaves, he is not that anymore? Would "by the time he is gone" work fine? – brilliant Jun 23 at 15:53
  • @brilliant By the time he is gone would not make any sense if by saying it you want to get there while he's still present. By the time he leaves would only make sense if it takes him some time to actually leave and you're talking about the process itself. Generally, if that's the case, you would say by the time he's leaving, a process that you can show up to while it's still in progress. (Although it still wouldn't sound completely natural.) But I think your thinking around the fact that the movie is still present, even after it's started, is a good one. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 23 at 19:23
  • @JasonBassford - Very interesting. Thank you. – brilliant Jun 23 at 19:37

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