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Hello

Here is my question : is there a definite way of knowing when the use of "will" is required in "when" clauses?

- I know that "will" cannot be used if the clause expresses a condition that has to occur to the event of the main clause can occur simultaneously

e.g. "We'll leave when John arrives" (John has to arrive so we can leave).

- I know that you must use "will" when both events are not simultaneous:

e.g. "Tell me when you will be ready" (tell me now when you will be ready in the future)

- I know "will" must be used in "When" questions:

e.g. "When will he be back?"

So far, so good.

But some sentences confuse me.

For instance, should I use will here:

"Who will entertain me when I'm at work?" => should it be "when I will be at work"? If so, why?

Also, these sentences found in an English grammar manual:

[3] We will go swimming after 5 o’clock when everybody else will be at home.

[4] By the end of the year, when you will have established your platform and built some security for yourself, you will be free to enjoy the fruits of life.
Could someone explain to me why "will" is used in those sentences? Is there a definite way of knowing when "will" must or not be used?

This has been bothering me for a while so I'll be thankful for any information Emotion: smile
Full Member116
When will he be back?
Explanation: This is a direct question.
will
can be used.

Tell me when you will be ready.
Explanation: This is an indirect question from When will you be ready?
will
can be used.

We'll leave when John arrives.
Explanation: This is an adverbial time clause.
when
specifies the time of the leaving as the time of John's arrival --
whatever time that may be -- and we don't know when it will be.
will cannot be used.

Who will entertain me when I'm at work?

Explanation: The when clause expresses the idea of
[whenever / no matter when] I'm at work
or at (all) those times that I am at work.
This is a sort of habitual present.
will cannot be used.
__________

The following two are examples of a when clause in apposition, that is, the when clause restates another phrase or clause giving more information or an explanation about it. (There may be an implied because that's when or because at that time in the sentence.)
will
can be used, because the when clause is almost an independent because clause.

We will go swimming after 5 o’clock when everybody else will be at home.
We will go swimming after 5 o'clock, because that (the time after 5 o'clock) is when everybody else will be at home.
We will go swimmnig after 5 o'clock, because at that time everybody else will be at home.

By the end of the year, when you will have established your platform and built some security for yourself, you will be free to enjoy the fruits of life.
By the end of the year (because that (the end of the year) is when you will have established your platform and built some security for yourself.) you will be free to enjoy the fruits of life.
By the end of the year you will be free to enjoy the fruits of life because at that time you will have established your platform and built some security for yourself.
________

Be sure to note carefully in these last two examples that the situations in the when clauses are known: We know for a fact when everybody else will be at home -- after 5 o'clock. We know for a fact when you will have established yourself -- by the end of the year. This must be seen as very different from the arrival example, where we do not know when John will arrive, so we say We'll leave when he arrives. (We need to wait until the arrival happens before we know when it will happen).

CJ
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Thank you so much for posting such a detailed answer, CalifJim. It really helps Emotion: smile

Just a couple of additional questions.

Regarding the "habitual present" thing, what do you think of the following sentence:

"What will I become when she's gone"? => Does the "habitual present" notion apply here.

Also, in the "swimming" example, am I correct in thinking that if you remove "5 o'clock", we need the use the present in the "when" clause:

"We'll go swimming when everyone is at home".

Am I right? Thanks a lot for helping Emotion: smile
"What will I become when she's gone"? => Does the "habitual present" notion apply here.
Yes. I'd say so. (when she is gone) On the other hand, you may prefer another interpretation, namely, that we don't know when she will be gone and we need to wait for this unknown time to arrive, i.e., an adverbial time clause indicating a situation the exact time of which we do not know. In this alternate interpretation, we treat she's gone as the event of her leaving (when she has gone). Either way, *when she will be gone or *when she will have gone are both incorrect.

if you remove "5 o'clock", we need the use the present in the "when" clause:
"We'll go swimming when everyone is at home".Yes! Now the sentence reads differently. Now we need to wait and see when the appropriate time comes. Nothing in this sentence tells us when everyone will be at home. We can only conclude that the time is unknown. So will is not correct.

CJ

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Anonymous:
I would like to add one comment, namely that I would use 'will' after 'when' as an emphatic, mostly with 'to be'. The normal construction would be 'We will leave when Jim gets/is home.' The emphatic, to my way of thinking, when I need to stress that A will not happen until B does, is 'We will leave when Jim does get/will be home.' Most verbs use 'to do' for the emphatic form, but not 'to be'.
Anonymous I would use 'will' after 'when' as an emphatic, mostly with 'to be'.
You would be wrong,
Anonymous The emphatic, to my way of thinking, when I need to stress that A will not happen until B does, is 'We will leave when Jim does get/will be home.' Most verbs use 'to do' for the emphatic form, but not 'to be'.
... when John will be home is not natural in that sentence.
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Anonymous:
You are entitled to your opinion, and perhaps my usage is dialectical, but an internet search of "at a time when you will be home" yields almost as many results as "at a time when you are home", so quite a few people must be comfortable with 'will' in this construction, whether or not it is correct, and even without an emphatic meaning. If you shorten the search to "when you will be home", then the numbers go through the roof, but that is no doubt as a consequence of all of the indirect and direct questions that are included in the results. Nevertheless you can still find results equivalent to 'at a time when you will be home' among them. With so many using English in this fashion ('will' after 'when' in an adverbial temporal clause), it sounds like either English has changed since the rule was formulated, or the rule has not been correctly applied in this case.
Anonymousinternet search of "at a time when you will be home" yields almost as many results as "at a time when you are home", so quite a few people must be comfortable with 'will' in this construction,
As I say often, internet searches are not reliable when it comes to confirming the acceptability of chunks of language,
A minute ago I got 44.5 million hits when I googled "I ain't done it" and only 29 million for "I haven't done it" . When I left out the apostrophe, I got half a million hits for the "aint" version and 2 million for the "havent", Would you claim from such figures that more people are comfortable with ain't than with haven't, and that ain't users are far more likely to use the apostrophe than haven't users?
Anonymous whether or not it is correct,
I wasn't talking about correctness. I used the word 'natural'.n this case.
Anonymous then the numbers go through the roof, but that is no doubt as a consequence of all of the indirect and direct questions that are included in the results
Quite.
Anonymous, it sounds like either English has changed since the rule was formulated, or the rule has not been correctly applied in this case.
Nobody has mentioned the word 'rule', and a couple of people have specifically written of times when 'will' is appropriate in some 'when' clauses. I was simply responding to your claim that 'will' s more emphatic. It isn't. I added that 'will' is not natural in that sentence we were discussing.It isn't.
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Anonymous:
Once again, I think I have not communicated clearly. The first response to the question in this thread broke when clauses down into several categories, one of which is:
We'll leave when John arrives.
Explanation: This is an adverbial time clause.
when
specifies the time of the leaving as the time of John's arrival --
whatever time that may be -- and we don't know when it will be.
will cannot be used.

This looks like a rule to me, although the word 'rule' was not specifically used and no reference to a published grammar was given.

I identified 'at a time when you will be home' as an adverbial temporal clause (I prefer 'temporal' here to 'time', perhaps erroneously). But I was wrong and you failed to correct me. According to the original response, this is correct English because the temporal clause does not directly modify the verb but is only in apposition. Under these circumstances, 'will' is permitted. Please note, that 'at a time when you will be home' is used as a fact, not an indefinite condition.

I am sorry, but I do not see any examples in this thread where 'will' can be used after 'when' in an adverbial temporal clause that directly modifies a verb, aside from my example of 'We will leave when Jim will be home.' The dialogue could go something along the lines of:
We would like to leave at 5.
But Jim will be at work and he has something he wants to tell you before you leave.
Ok, how about 6?
Jim has bowling tonight.
Ok, how about 9?
And then I asked him to pick up some stuff from the supermarket. I don't know when he'll get back.
Well, in that case we'll leave when Jim WILL be home.

Since you wrote, 'Nobody has mentioned the word 'rule', and a couple of people have specifically written of times when 'will' is appropriate in some 'when' clauses,' could you kindly give an appropriate example of 'will' correctly used in the aforementioned construction (adverbial temporal clause directly modifying the verb) since you appear to me to be saying that you do not dispute the use of will, only the naturalness of my sentence? Or do you wish to also state that the use of 'will' is impossible in this situation?

And kindly also give the emphatic form for 'to be' that is comparable to the 'do' construction, e.g. I do like ice cream.' Obviously, I can say 'Jim IS home,' which is comparable to 'I LIKE ice cream,' but I cannot say 'I do be home,' unless I am speaking in some fairly archaic dialect. (I could perhaps hear Jim in Huckleberry Finn saying it.) Thank you.

You can belittle internet searches all you like, but the internet corpus is a fantastic tool when you have to write a sentence using a word that is new to you: What verb does it take? What article does it take? What adjectives are usually associated with it? And I would certainly consider the source. How a Romanian in Romania uses the word does not carry the same weight as how a Brit does. The results are not foolproof, esp. due to quirks in Google statistics, but if UK scientists are using a particular phrase, odds are that it is at least understandable, if not spot on if you are writing a scientific text. But you have to use proper filters. For example, I would have filtered the 'ain't' out very easily by adding a formal English word like 'species' since formal English generally follows grammar rules and then most of the colloquial English, which frequently does not follow them, would have dropped out.
"I ain't done it" species 64 hits
"I haven't done it" species 162 million hits
See, you just have to ask the right question.
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