Sometime, Sometimes, and Some Time
A reader questions a friend’s use of sometimes:
She will say “I hope we get to see you sometimes.” Is there supposed to be a plural for sometime?
There is an s form of sometime, but it is not a plural. Adverbs don’t have plural forms.
The morphemes some and time occur in three combinations: sometime, sometimes, and some time.
Written as one word, sometime is an adverb implying a vague time in the future:
I hope we get to see you sometime.”
Sometimes, also an adverb, denotes the sense of occasionally:
Sometimes I see a deer in my backyard.
One-word sometime can be used as an adjective meaning occasional or former:
[John M. Robertson] worked throughout his life primarily as a writer, a sometime journalist, and a sometime politician, having been elected to Parliament in 1906.
Hamlet laments the betrayal by his sometime friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Written as two words, some time has different meanings.
Some time can mean “quite a while”:
It has been some time since the school district had a competent administrator.
Some may simply be an adjective qualifying time:
Margaret said she needed some time to think about her relationship with Charles.
The following sentence illustrates all these forms:
Sometimes I spend some time wishing I could see the sometime friends I haven’t seen for some time.
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