Author Topic: Future time clauses and Present Perfect  (Read 436 times)

Offline Natalia

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Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« on: April 27, 2019, 01:59:03 PM »
I know that in time clauses we can often use the present perfect instead of the present simple to indicate the completion of an action. However, I have some doubts sometimes.
I wrote down the following examples of future time clauses in which, according to the answer key, the present simple is used. I wonder if the present perfect will also work in these cases?
1. I won't buy you a cake if you don't behave yourself.
=> I won't buy you a cake unless you behave yourself.
2. Jack is seeing the doctor tomorrow. He will be all right.
=> Soon after Jack sees the doctor, he will be all right.
3. I will arrive at my office at 8 o'clock. I will do it immediately.
=> The moment I arrive at my office, I will do it.
4. I'll let you know when the party starts.
5. I won't speak to him unless he apologises to me for being so rude.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 01:21:13 AM »
You can generally use the present perfect to indicate that something is completed at the time. However, it also has a background function, so it would work better in, for example (1), than in (3), where it seems a little odd given the word order and that seeing the doctor is probably a bigger event than being alright. (Also because "after" already indicates completion.)
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 05:31:22 AM »
Thank you for your answer. While we are on the topic of future time clauses, I'd like to ask you about the following sentence: Call me when you do your homework, so I'll help you.
Is this sentence correct grammatically? Or it must be: Call me when you are doing your homework, so I'll help you.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 08:05:27 AM »
Quote
Call me when you do your homework, so I'll help you.
Is this sentence correct grammatically?
That's fine. "Do" here is vague about the exact timing, so the call might occur before beginning the homework ("when you are going to start doing it"), or during ("are doing"), or after ("have done").

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Or it must be: Call me when you are doing your homework, so I'll help you.
This can only mean during the activity, after starting but before finishing.

By the way, "so I'll help you" is a little odd here. It would be more natural with "so I can help you" or "and I'll help you". With "so I'll help you" it sounds like suggesting you aren't offering to help, but if they call you then they could convince you, so it is contextually odd. (Compare more natural: "Call your friends so they will know where to meet us.")
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2019, 02:58:46 PM »
Oh yes. It definitely should be "and I'll help you". I just didn't take notice of that part.

I thought the first sentence was fine, as you said. One teacher, however, claims it is not and only "are doing" works here. That's why I was a bit confused.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 03:00:20 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2019, 03:07:54 PM »
Actually, I'd say the first sentence is a default, and the second would only be used when you want to emphasize 'during'. More naturally, the first would be used to refer to the beginning of the event, assuming you want help throughout. It's actually slightly odd grammatically in that the event may have not yet begun, but close enough contextually.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 02:18:03 PM by Daniel »
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2019, 01:58:57 AM »
I am not sure if I fully understood your post. By saying "event", you mean "doing the homework"? And the last sentence is quite unclear to me. Could you please explain it to me once again?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2019, 05:40:58 AM »
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By saying "event", you mean "doing the homework"?
Yes.

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And the last sentence is quite unclear to me. Could you please explain it to me once again?
"Call me when X" could mean before, during or after X. In this case, pragmatically/contextually it is most likely before, because you would want help starting at the beginning and then continuing during. Alternatively it might mean during, when it becomes difficult, or maybe after, to go over the answers to see if they're correct. But most simply, I'd assume it means before, which technically isn't part of the event itself, so it's a bit odd grammatically.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2019, 05:40:01 AM »
Quote
"Call me when X" could mean before, during or after X. In this case, pragmatically/contextually it is most likely before, because you would want help starting at the beginning and then continuing during. Alternatively it might mean during, when it becomes difficult, or maybe after, to go over the answers to see if they're correct. But most simply, I'd assume it means before, which technically isn't part of the event itself, so it's a bit odd grammatically.

You are talking about the sentence "Call me when you DO your homework", which can be interpreted in three ways. Is that right?

Offline Daniel

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2019, 01:17:05 PM »
Correct.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2019, 01:27:02 PM »
Now I understand.

Quote
Actually, I'd say the first sentence is a default, and the second would only be used when you want to emphasize 'during'. More naturally, the second would be used to refer to the beginning of the event, assuming you want help throughout. It's actually slightly odd grammatically in that the event may have not yet begun, but close enough contextually.

In the second sentence you said "the second would be used..." You probably meant the first sentence, i.e. the one with the present simple? That's why I got confused.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 03:06:46 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2019, 02:18:24 PM »
That was a typo, sorry for any confusion. I edited my reply above to correct it.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Future time clauses and Present Perfect
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2019, 03:08:14 PM »
That's OK. Thank you for your explanation.