Grammar

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I have a question about the expression 'call it a day'.

 

Last night I went on Facebook, and posted a Music video. I wrote 'Guess I call it a day' above it, because it was 2 a.m. and I wanted to go to sleep.
A friend of mine immediately said it should have been 'Guess I'll call it a day'.

I'm aware that that would be correct. But English is not my first language, so I was wondering if my phrasing could also have been correct.

asked Aug 31 '13 at 10:11 Olivier New member

1 answer


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You have several different things going on.  Your mistake is confusing verb tenses.

 

The title of your question "Call it a day" would be used when you are giving an imperative (instruction) to someone else.   If your friend saw you still working late, he might order you to "Call it a day" in the present tense.  (Stop right now and call it a day.)

 

If he wanted to suggest you do it in the near future, then he would say "You should call it a day."  Should, the helping verb, adjusted the meaning of the sentence.

 

It is the same with what you wrote.

"I call it a day" uses "call" as a simple present verb, but that doesn't make sense if you are posting what your action was, is, or will be.

"I called it a day" displays past tense.

"I am calling it a day" displays present-progressive tense (I am calling it a day as we speak.)

"I will call it a day" displays a future intent to call it a day.

 

When you said "Guess I call it a day," it looked like you were expressing an intent, in the immediate future, to call it a day--which is why you needed "will" to display the future intent.

The verb "I guess" displays that you have not yet begun calling it a day and you should not be using progressive tense. 

If you were quitting as you wrote the message, it should have been "I am calling it a day."

link comment answered Aug 31 '13 at 12:52 Aaron Prejean Expert

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