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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #108142: When, While, Till etc, expressing time.
When, While, Till etc, expressing time.
Temporal clauses enable us to focus on the moment when an event is happening in relation to the tense of the main clause:
Temporal subordinate clauses are built with the help of many temporal subordinate conjunctions. The main ones are:
AS , AS SOON AS , AFTER (+ clause), AS LONG AS, BEFORE (+ clause), ONCE (+ clause), SINCE (+ clause), TILL/UNTIL, WHEN, WHENEVER, WHILE;
A VERY IMPORTANT REMARK:
In a sentence in the future, temporal subordinate conjunctions ARE NEVER FOLLOWED BY A FUTURE. (a simple present must be used). Following the sequence of tenses, a preterite will be used in the subordinate clause, if the 'conditional' ('modal would' ) was in the main clause.
ex: He'll open the door after he finds the key... It's hidden!
ex: Once the firemen arrive, they'll save these victims.
ex: I won't go as long as he hasn't arrived!
ex: His parents knew that he'd (would) join the Navy as soon as he was 18 !
It may be important to determine the temporal relationship there is between the event of the main clause and that of the subordinate:
1) If the action of the main clause is taking place before that of the subordinate: = anteriority or precedence (before, till, until, not until, when).
ex: He spoke fluent English before he arrived in Oxford!
2) If the action of the main clause is happening simultaneously (at the same time as) that of the subordinate= simultaneity or syncronicity (as, since, as soon as, while)
meanwhile, in the meantime (= adverbs)
ex: He was doing his maths exercise while his sister was watching TV.
3) If the action of the main clause is taking place after that of the subordinate = posteriority or subsequence. (after , once, when)
(after + clause = a temporal conjunction) (after + Noun or Gerund = a preposition)
ex: After he broke his leg, he never played rugby again.
Time for the test, now ! Good luck !
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