I saw a train approaching the station. I wanted to tell my friends be ready with their bags to get into the train. I said:

Train arrived be ready.

Afterwards I realised that "Train arrived" is past tense which is incorrect to use in present tense. Should I have said this?

Train arrives be ready

Please help me with my example I know other option s to say .


I would say that the most normal phrase to use would be: "Here comes the train, get ready!" but lots of other options are possible.

Indeed, with present tense: "The train is here, get ready (to get on)" would be perfectly acceptable in normal usage, even though the statement is arguably false - the train is still approaching.

If you really want to work in past tense, then try something along the lines of: "The train has arrived, time to get on board!"

  • Why can't we use arrives instade of comes ?
    – user4084
    Aug 6 '19 at 2:03
  • You could use "The train is arriving" if you want, but while "The train arrives" is grammatically correct, it is very unusual usage. Aug 6 '19 at 11:22
  • You are not correct to say the statement is arguably false - the train is still approaching. Here does not mean has arrived in this case it means it is near. This includes approaching and arrived.
    – Brad
    Aug 6 '19 at 23:46
  • No, the argument is on what defines 'here' - most people would say that the train is 'here' if it is in the station, a few would argue that it is only 'here' if it has stopped, but that argument fails when you consider a train that is passing through without stopping. Aug 7 '19 at 11:05
  • Well if you use the Cambridge dictionary Here is clearly defined. it is near.
    – Brad
    Aug 7 '19 at 14:38

In this case I believe you are looking to use the present participle of the verb arrive, like so:

"The train is arriving."

The present participle refers to things that are happening as the words are spoken, so it is likely the tense you would use to alert your friends in the moment that an event is occurring.

For more information on forming the present participle: https://www.lexico.com/en/grammar/verb-tenses-adding-ed-and-ing

  • "The train is arriving" sounds very passive to me, for this sort of 'call to action' situation. Not quite enough for a downvote, though! Aug 7 '19 at 16:01

I think the key to which answer you choose lies in how you asked the question: "Should I have said this?"

As @Brad mentioned in hos post most answers in this site are to do with 'correctness' and this is certainly important.

What is the point of language - to be understood. For this correctness is important. In this instance, why do want to be understood - that's in your question too, you wrote: "I wanted to tell my friends be ready with their bags to get into the train".

So here we have an example of communicating with purpose - so I believe that the appropriate form of words to choose is the one which is most likley to achieve that purpose. In this case for your friends to be ready.

Saying "Train arrived" - even if it hasn't yet finished the process of arriving - conveys more urgancy than "Train arriving" or "The train will be here soon" or "I can see the train in the distance"

So while your use of tenses and form of words may not be strictly accurate, which form of words will be most successful in achieveing the result you intend. It seems to me that it's the one that creates the most sense of urgency. For that I think saying "Train arrived be ready" while not strictly correct is a good phrase. It's short, direct and conveys the urgency you intended.

As for correctness we would not say "Train arrives" we would say "The train is arriving". We would also say "The train has arrived" not "Train arrived".

In English we have "Proper nonuns" which are in general people's names and if you are using a noun which is not a proper noun you need to use an article with the noun. So you can say "Peter arrived" but not "Train arrived" you should say either "The train arrived" or "A train arrived".

"The" is the definite article and refers to a specific train. "A" is the indefinite article and refers to any train.


The Question is Present Tense arrives or arrived

The more I use this site, the more obvious one thing becomes. We are very rarely teaching Good English. This site is for English Language Learners. For the more advanced user we have the English Language and Usage site. On this site we (myself included) tend to focus on what is grammatically correct. Are we correct? I suggest No.

"I saw a train approaching the station. I wanted to tell my friends be ready with their bags to get into the train. I said":

Train arrived be ready.

Lets split your sentence into it two parts, Train arrived and be ready.

Train arrived....Use of the word arrived is correct terminology (although the grammar is not) once the train has arrived not whilst it is approaching. Arriving would be the correct term when the train is approaching>. However in spoken English The most common used phrase would be The train's here Which also solves the problem of if the train is approaching or has arrived.

Be ready, this is an instruction and whilst it maybe OK to use it when speaking to your kids it is not polite when talking to other adults. The more commonly used phrase would be "Are you ready"? The use of a suggestion or question is more polite,.

The train's here, are you ready? the meaning of the sentence being the train has arrived (or is very close), be ready. Alternatively if the train is still along way away but can be seen in the distance. The train's coming, let's get ready. In this second use I have used the suggestive form for be ready.

here adverb Has several meanings, Cambridge English Dictionary

in, at, or to this place: example I like it here.

used at the beginning of a statement to introduce someone or something: Example Here's Fiona - let me introduce you to her.

used to show that someone has arrived or that something has started: Example Here they are! We thought you'd never come!

​used to say that someone or something that is near you: example I don't know anything about this, but I'm sure my colleague here can help you.

get verb (START TO BE) to become or start to be: Example We'd better get moving or we'll be late.

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