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    #1

    The minute I've finished

    Hi everybody: I've seen the following sentence, "The minute I've finished this course, I'm going to change the world" and I wonder about the use of the present perfect here. Why? It's an idea that refers to the future. Could anyone help me? Thanks!

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The minute I've finished

    Quote Originally Posted by Intoarut View Post
    Hi everybody: I've seen the following sentence, "The minute I've finished this course, I'm going to change the world" and I wonder about the use of the present perfect here. Why? It's an idea that refers to the future. Could anyone help me? Thanks!
    Substitute 'when'.

    When I've finished this course.... and When I finish this course...
    are both accceptable, but - as I hear it - the present perfect focuses more on the event of finishing: 'When + past perfect...' suggests 'The moment I've finished - the day after I get my results - I'm going to...'. Using 'The minute' in place of 'When' reinforces that suggestion. On the other hand 'When + present' suggests 'Some time after I finish - maybe I'll take a year out volunteering in Africa first, but eventually - I'm going to....

    But (and this is not a matter of personal preference or perception ) 'When I will finish...' is just wrong.

    b

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    #3

    Re: The minute I've finished

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Substitute 'when'.

    When I've finished this course.... and When I finish this course...
    are both accceptable, but - as I hear it - the present perfect focuses more on the event of finishing: 'When + past perfect...' suggests 'The moment I've finished - the day after I get my results - I'm going to...'. Using 'The minute' in place of 'When' reinforces that suggestion. On the other hand 'When + present' suggests 'Some time after I finish - maybe I'll take a year out volunteering in Africa first, but eventually - I'm going to....

    But (and this is not a matter of personal preference or perception ) 'When I will finish...' is just wrong.

    b
    Very clear explanation! I'd naturally say "When I finish..." (never will finish! ) and because I connect the present perfect tense with the past, its usage to refer to the future sounded weird to me. Thank you!

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The minute I've finished

    Quote Originally Posted by Intoarut View Post
    Hi everybody: I've seen the following sentence, "The minute I've finished this course, I'm going to change the world" and I wonder about the use of the present perfect here. Why? It's an idea that refers to the future. Could anyone help me? Thanks!
    You can say, "The minute I finish this course ..."
    Obviously using "When ..." is also correct, but it's not a solution if you want to use the construction "The minute I finish ..."

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The minute I've finished

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You can say, "The minute I finish this course ..." Yes indeed.
    Obviously using "When ..." is also correct, but it's not a solution if you want to use the construction "The minute I finish ..."
    It wasn't meant to be. I was inviting the OP to consider the similarity with 'when'. I didn't make this clear.

    b

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