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Tenses in subordinate clauses

In subordinate clauses we often use present tenses to refer to the future. This usually happens after conjunctions like when, until, after, before, as soon as, if and whether.

  • I will call you when dinner is ready. (NOT I will call you when dinner will be ready.)
  • Will you stay here until I come back? (NOT Will you stay here until I will come back?)
  • I will write to you if I have time. (NOT I will write to you if I will have time.)
  • It will be interesting to see whether he keeps his word. (NOT It will be interesting to see whether he will keep his word.)

Present tenses are also used after question words and relative pronouns to refer to the future.

  • I will go where you go. (NOT I will go where you will go.)
  • He says that he will give 20 dollars to anyone who finds his phone. (NOT He says that he will give 20 dollars to anyone who will find his phone.)

In comparisons with as and than both present and future verbs are possible.

  • We will get there sooner than you do. OR We will get there sooner than you will.

Future in subordinate clauses

If the main verb does not refer to the future, a future verb is necessary for future reference in a subordinate clause.

  • I donít know what I will do.
  • I donít know where I will be tomorrow.

After expressions like in case, I hope, I bet and it doesnít matter a present tense is normally used with a future meaning.

  • I have brought my umbrella in case it rains.
  • I hope she wins.
  • I doesnít matter what he does with his money.

Sections In This Article
Tenses
The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
The simple past tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense

 

 

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