Sometime vs Some Time vs Sometimes Grammar Confusion

some time or sometime

Some time ago, I would sometimes use sometime in the wrong place.

Anytime you want to use an indefinite pronoun, be a little bit careful.

You might find that you could need to use an adverb, or modify a noun with an adjective or partitive.

That all sounds quite complicated, but it is easy really.

Take your time, it’s nothing to get excited about. But yes, sometimes grammar can be a little confusing.

You can learn about indefinite pronouns whenever you like. But yes, you might want to study it sometime in the future.

If you set aside some time, you will understand everything in no time at all.

The basic meanings of these three sometimes confusing words can be defined like this.

 

Sometime

adverb
at some unspecified or unknown time: you must come and have a barbeque sometime. This refers to a time in the future.

adjective
former: the sometime editor of this blog. This means that the editor is now no longer working on this blog.

Sometimes

adverb
occasionally, not all of the time: sometimes I want to study Spanish.

Some time

noun
[mass noun] the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.

In the two words, some time, the word time is modified by some, which is an indefinite pronoun. So it refers to an unspecified period of time, at some point in time.

I’ll get around to doing it at some time.

Some time ago, I decided to do more exercise.

 

Having fun with indefinite pronouns and indefinite time

A very, very long time ago now, I wrote this short piece of grammatical gymnastics for my personal blog.

It seems appropriate to dig it out now for you to read. I have edited it a little to better suit the context of this article.

 

I love something about indefinite pronouns

In the beginning, there was nothing except indefinite time, until, at some time, something arrived, and everything changed.

Sometimes, for some reason, something always creates a problem, and so it was to be again.

Nothing remained the same thereafter, as something had altered everything including all time in the future. While no one knew who or how; someone had changed the balance of everything and anything for a long time.

Then, at some time when everyone was busy with something, no one noticed that nothing had changed until something else happened at some period of time.

Sometime between when nothing and something happened, someone, somewhere, had the presence of mind to note that everything was somewhat different in some way.

Somehow, something really weird was happening.

Someone wrote something about it and someone read it and then sent it on to someone else.

Somewhere between when it was sent and read, something else happened, which of course, no one expected.

Then, for some odd reason, everyone knew all about something, because of course, they thought they knew everything about anything.

Somehow, as much as things change, everything stays the same.

 

Errors are sometimes easy to make, so always take some time to check if you are unsure

You can use a dictionary, check online or use a good online grammar checker to help you.

But if you can learn the basics, you will get it right most of the time. Sometime and sometimes are always written as one word. In two words, some time is a pronoun.

Just remember that sometimes means occasionally or not very often and is an adverb of frequency.

Sometime refers to an unspecified point in time in the past or future. But the adverb and adjective can be confused. If it is used before a noun, it becomes an adjective meaning former or ex.

Some time is when time refers to an unspecified period of time. It is similar to a long time, which defines an unspecified length or duration of time.

 

Anyway, find any way that helps you

When you are proofreading your writing, pay careful attention to indefinite pronouns and adverbs.

One of the easiest ways to check is to separate the words to see if the meaning changes. Or if a sentence still makes sense.

The adverb anyway usually starts or can sometimes end a phrase. But within a sentence, it is almost always a noun, which can take an adjective. So you can add adjectives such as any possible way, or any easy way.

Take your time, and it will become clear.

Somehow, at some point in time in the future, I am sure you will get there and understand everything.

 

Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

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