Saturday, January 7, 2012

The time clauses

The time clauses in the

English language are

introduced by conjunctions

such as after, as soon as,

before, till, until, when,

whenever, while or time

expressions such as the

minute, the moment etc.

We do not use the future

tense (will) in a time clause to

describe future activities (in

this respect, it it similar to if

clauses ).


I'll come back home and I'll

do it. x I'll do it when I come

back home. ( when I come is

the time clause)

You will push this button and

the door will open. x As soon

as you push this button the

door will open.

Don't stand up. First I'll tell

you. x Don't stand up till

(until) I tell you.

You'll need my car. Take it. x

Whenever you need my car

you can take it.

You'll tidy up the house and

I'll do the shopping. x You'll

tidy up the house while I do

the shopping.

You will drop the bomb and it

will explode. x The moment

you drop the bomb it will


Similarly, other future forms

also change to the present

simple tense.

He is going to leave. The room

will be empty. x As soon as he

leaves the room will be


We are moving next week.

Then we'll call you. x When we

move next week we'll call you.

If we describe an action that

is happening at the same time

as another future action (the

two activities are

simultaneous), we use the

present continuous tense in

time clauses.

We are going to cut the grass.

You'll pick the apples. x While

we are cutting the grass you'll

pick the apples.

The future perfect simple and

continuous become the

present perfect simple and


I'll have finished my grammar

exercises in ten minutes. Then

I'll go out. x After I have

finished my grammar

exercises I'll go out.

They will have repaired our car

by the weekend. And we will

go for a trip. x As soon as

they have repaired our car we

will go for a trip.

Be careful!

If when introduces a noun

clause which is the object of a

verb, it is followed by a future


I don't know when she will

arrive. I can't remember when

the race will start. You must

decide when you will meet


In all these sentences the

question is: What? not When?

(I don't know what, I can't

remember what, You must

decide what.)

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