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By the time you've paid so much for the ferry and so much for the train fare, it would be cheaper to go by plane.

1. What does 'By the time' mean and imply here?

2. Is the speaker describing something that has already happened?

Thankyou

PBF
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By the time you've paid so much for the ferry and so much for the train fare, it would be cheaper to go by plane.

1. What does 'By the time' mean and imply here? = After you have paid (so much) for the ferry and train

2. Is the speaker describing something that has already happened? No, he is suggesting that to travel by plane is cheaper than taking the ferry and train
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by the time, you've, would be
can all be used when making predictions about the future, which is the case here.