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问：It is the first time +从句的结构中，从句应该用什么时态？
答：It is the first time +从句的结构中，从句用现在完成时。It was the first time +从句的结构中，从句用过去完成时。没有别的时态。例如：It is the first time that Mr Smoth has visited China. 这是史密斯先生第一次到中国来游览。
It was the first time that Mr Smoth has visited China. 译文同上。
句型中主句it 可以用this，that，序数词first也可根据句意改变其他序数词。例如：This is the third time that Mr Smoth has visited the Summer Palace. 这是史密斯先生第三次游览颐和园。
That was the fourth time that Mr Smoth has visited the Summer Palace. 这是史密斯先生第四次游览长城。
【问】—Do you know our town at all? —No, it is the first time I ____ here.
A. was B. have been C. came D. am coming (全国高考，92—22)
【答】This is the first (second, third, …) time这个结构要求后面使用现在完成时，This was the first (second, third, …) time这个结构要求后面使用过去完成时。 例如：… 当主句为将来时(It/This/That will be the first time)时，从句要用将来完成时，但用现在完成时来代替：…
从以上可以看出两书均认为It / This / That + be + the first (second, third, …) time之中只能使用完成时态。然而最近出版的王福祯老师主编的《薄冰英语惯用法词典》(商务印书馆国际有限公司2009年1月北京第1版) p1179却认为：“It is (或was) the first (second, third, fourth, etc.) time + (that) 从句”句型中，从句常用现在完成时或过去完成时，也可以用一般过去时。如果表示动作正在进行，也可用进行时。例如： “You know”, he told the guard, “that’s the first time I ever touched a real flower.”
实际上It / This / That + be + the first (second, third, …) time… 之中除使用完成时态以外，还可以使用其他时态。这一点从著名语言学家Michael Swan所著得Practical English Usage (Third Edition) 中可以得到证实：
Practical English Usage (Third Edition) p586:
Present (simple or progressive) and future tense are both possible with This is the last … and similar structures:
This is the last time I pay / I’m paying for you. (Or This is the last time I’ll pay for you. )
1. Lingoes ( http://www.lingoes.cn/) 之“句酷双语例句”：(Agence France-Presse, Busan, South Korea, 23rd) - North Korea's athletes arrived in Busan today for the Asian Games. It is the first time that North Korea athletes attend an international sporting event in South Korea.（法新社南韩釜山二十三日电）北韩选手今天抵达釜山参加亚运，这是北韩首次参加在南韩举办的国际运动比赛。
2. BNC (英国国家语料库http://www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk)和BUY-BNC BRTISH NATIONAL CORPUS (UK,1980s-1993) (Mark Davies, Brigham Young University ) http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/：
This is the first time we actually feel sympathy for Blanche because she is so upset by the death of her husband.
I think it is the first time he actually worked hard.
This is the first time that the two companies will provide a total supply and maintenance contract for ARAMCO, …
…, it is the first time you realise that there are places like ours that you can go,…
It is the first time I have an internal examination.
But this is the first time that RA members are being so actively encouraged to trespass.
This is the first time that the paintings will be shown as a group outside the Hermitage.
“This is the first time you really see everything,” he told The Art Newspaper.
That is the last time I shall put myself at a loss or disadvantage for her, she decided, unable as she was to thank me.
This is the last time I'll be part of these people.
Barry is ready for his hols so this is the last time we will see the talking sweater in action.
I fear that this is the last time we shall ever see each other.
This was the last time they saw him.
That was the last time we spoke.
It was the last time Endill would believe anything a teacher told him.
It was the last time Kenneth ever saw Rory.
It was the last time we were ever to see him alive.
It was the first time I was able to say it.
It was the first time we made a connection.
That was the first time I was to see pain and suffering at close quarters.
This was the first time that everyone else on the station at that time became aware of the danger,…
3. BUY CORPUS OF AMERICAN ENGLISH (1990-2009) (Mark Davies, Brigham Young University) http://www.americancorpus.org/：
2008 I mean, this is the first time that in our current environment, a sitting president is actually being put up for war crimes.
2008 Well this is the first time I'll mention it on the air I'm not a Republican and I'm not a Democrat.
2008 And this is the first time that they saw the same efficacy as the drugs.
2008 …, and this is the first time I am writing in about one of your articles.
2008 And that was the first time that I said to her, Don't ever even joke like that.
2008 It was the first time I think I broke down on this job in years.
2008 I just really wanted them to see me in this role because it was the first time they would ever get to see me being honest onstage.
2008 She had never seen so many white people before, and this was the first time she was seeing white people at such close proximity.
2007 I have had French citizenship for two years now so it is the first time I am going to vote.
2006 This was the first time I cared about another person since my baby died.
2006 That is the first time I can remember seeing Larry Munson.
2006 That was the first time in my life that I could actually see the previous couple of words I had written, …
2004 Tonight, it is the first time my buddy-buddy is not in the room with me.
1995 And that is the first time I slept with him.
从以上英美人的真实例证可知：在It / This / That + be + the first (second, third, …) time之中，不仅可以使用完成时态，也可以根据需要使用其他时态。