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When + future or not - The very first steps...
lf there's a particular construction that is a real issue for students of English Grammar (even for the good ones... ), it's the use of "When + future or not...". It's often puzzling for most of them, especially when speaking .
On this site, you can find many exercises and some lessons about this question. I have already made three lessons whose exercises you'll be encouraged to do if you succeed in this one with flying colours. Come on... let's go for it!
I) WHEN= DIRECT INTERROGATIVE ADVERB. It introduces a direct interrogative clause. It's used to ask questions about the moment of an action.
Structure of a direct interrogative clause:
Interrogative word + SHALL/ WILL + SUBJECT + complements (Predicate) ...+ ?
- When will he come to take me home?
- When shall we have dinner at last?
"WHEN" used in a DIRECT INTERROGATIVE CLAUSE=> can be followed by FUTURE + ?
2) WHEN= an INDIRECT INTERROGATIVE ADVERB. It forms an indirect interrogative clause introduced by a main clause (often a very brief one, using to wonder/ to report/ to tell/ to ask/ to know/ to want/ to know...)
- I wonder when she will give me her answer...
"WHEN" used in an INDIRECT INTERROGATIVE CLAUSE=> must be followed by FUTURE.
The indirect interrogative doesn't admit the subject-verb inversion, or a question mark at the end of the sentence.
- In the affirmative form: I wonder (I ask myself...)
- In the negative forme: I am not sure... ; I don't know...
- In the interrogative form: Do you know... ? - When...? and after the expression : the day when= relative pronoun + future; BEWARE! The question mark at the end belongs to the interrogative main clause.
- I wonder when she will give me an answer.
- Do you know when the delayed plane from Washington will land?
- He doesn't know when he will be able to come to see you.
3) The temporal subordinate clauses are built thanks to many various temporal subordinate conjunctions. The main ones are:
AS, AS SOON AS, AFTER, AS LONG AS, BEFORE, ONCE, SINCE, TILL/ UNTIL, WHEN, WHENEVER, WHILE;
A VERY IMPORTANT REMARK:
In a sentence in the future, temporal subordination conjunctions CANNOT BE FOLLOWED BY A FUTURE. (a present or a present perfect MUST be used). Following the sequence of tenses, instead of a "conditional", we will use a preterite.
- - Will you still love me when I'm 64 ?
- - She'll open her mail as soon as she comes back home.
- Once you know the culprit's name, the case will be over.
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