That's fair, but it still feels a little more natural to me to say "a second"... it's not often you say "one second/minute/hour" late, I've mostly heard "you're an hour late" etc.
In a race, you might say someone is a second too late because they were roughly a thousand milliseconds behind the winner but yes normally, 'a second' would be fine because who counts seconds?
'Sorry, you are one second too late: the doors to the International Society for Pedantry are closed.'
However, "How long does it take?" "Oh, just a second" could mean any length of time as long as it's short, not necessarily one second. However, this sentence seems to emphasise the fact that the late person is around about one second after time, not any old amount.
No, "just a second" is different that "a second". "just" works just like maar- it changes the meaning of the sentence.
Wouldn't it be also proper English to say "Sorry, you are one second late"? "te" is IIRC obligatory in Dutch here, but could mean either in English.
That's why Indonesian used "te laat" for "too late"! I learn something new! XD
I thought at first it is a simplified version of 'terlambat' but I was wrong
No, it's not. Unlike in English, you do need the "te" in this case, to indicate that you are later than you should have been.
I am curious about this, now that I see so many questions about it.
In English, we only use "too late" to mean something discretely more severe than "late." If a doctor is late, his patient is annoyed. If a doctor is "too" late, his patient is dead! If you're late to a party, that means the party is going on still, and you're a latecomer. If you're "too" late, the party is over, or the doors are shut and you're not allowed in. There's a sense of irredeemability about "too late," even if you're using it in a trivial context. If you arrive late to an event, you may miss part of it, but you are still able to attend. If you arrive too late, that means you missed everything, or at least everything that was important.
Which is the sense of the Dutch? If "te laat" means more or less "late" in the English sense, then we should not be putting a "too" in the English translation at all. But if it also means "too late," in the English sense, then the English speakers on this thread who are suggesting "late" are missing the nuance in both their own language and in Dutch.
That's exactly what I thought! In English, you don't need "too" here; "one second late" should be correct as well in my opinion...
It is, only not when it is a listening exercise due to the difference in pronunciation.
I think it was a translation exercise I was doing. If so it should have been accepted - is that right?