Is this sentence grammatically correct? "I was 5 minutes from finishing watching the movie."

Can i construct similar sentences using "From", like "He was minutes from calling me when he lost his phone." Or

"She was minutes from finishing her homework"

Would that be grammatically correct, if i used the sentence i used for examples?

closed as off-topic by DJMcMayhem, Nathan Tuggy, user3169, Peter, M.A.R. Mar 26 '16 at 9:46

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    Please avoid using such a vague title. A good title allows us to understand your question with just a quick glance over the title. – Damkerng T. Mar 25 '16 at 16:12
  • Also, please add your idea about what you think is wrong with the sentence. You're here long enough to have heard "Details, please!", I believe. – Damkerng T. Mar 25 '16 at 16:14
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    Agreed. The title should be like a newspaper headline... not the whole question, just something that attracts the reader's attention and gives some information about the question. For the question itself, you should give a bit more information- for example, a situation in which this sentence might be used, similar sentences that you have seen, and what you think might be wrong with this sentence. – JavaLatte Mar 25 '16 at 16:17
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    Um... that's a very boring newspaper headline. How many questions do you think there are that say "Is this grammatically correct?". Lots and lots and lots. Why should I look at your question, rather than any of the others? Explain in the title what's different about your question. – JavaLatte Mar 25 '16 at 16:34
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    You could title your question Is "to be X minutes from VERB-ing" correct?, or maybe Grammar and usage of "I was X minutes from doing something", or something like that. Being specific is important not only for attracting answers, but also because when another user writes their own question the page will automatically look for questions with similar titles. If those titles reflected accurately the content of the post, there would be less duplicates. – Yay Mar 25 '16 at 17:14

Your sentence would sound like a native speaker in all of your examples.

"He was minutes from calling me when he lost his phone."

The only reason this sentence is a little awkward is that it's missing the amount of minutes.

"He was 5 minutes from calling me when he lost his phone."

Sounds like a normal English sentence.

Other than that, your sentences are fine!

  • Why doesn't the original sentence work? Why does it matter if the exact “amount of minutes” isn't specified? What does “to be minutes from” mean? Also, would “to be X minutes away from gerund” be even more natural? – userr2684291 Mar 25 '16 at 23:17
  • The original sentence, "I was 5 minutes from finishing watching the movie." works just fine! An amount of time (5 minutes) was specified, which makes the sentence work and seem natural. The sentence I was saying was awkward is "She was minutes from finishing her homework." The sentence does work, because you are saying she is close to finishing her homework (she only has minutes left, as opposed, for instance, to hours). However, specifying how many minutes (example: 5 minutes) she was away from completing homework makes it more simple to understand. I hope that helps! – redjax Mar 28 '16 at 15:11
  • @redjax Say, would the sentence " She was minutes from finishing her homework." be completely incorrect? Or is it just a tad bit vague when don't put in how much time, or in this case minutes you're talking about, but not totally incorrect? – lekon chekon Mar 28 '16 at 17:36
  • @lekonchekon That sentence is correct. This is one of those intricacies in English that makes me feel bad for people trying to learn it! It makes more sense to specify a time, example "she was 5 minutes from finishing her homework," because that gives an exact end time for the homework. However, saying "she was minutes from finishing her homework" also makes sense, it just does not specify how many minutes actually remain on the homework. It would make more sense to say "she is almost done with her homework" in this situation. I hope this helps, because it's definitely a complicated one! – redjax Mar 28 '16 at 17:41
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    i'll message you when i want to rid me of some doubts concerning certain constructions. :) – lekon chekon Mar 28 '16 at 18:06

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