Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: when he wrote

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,966
    Post Thanks / Like

    when he wrote

    A-"He is happy when he writes a novel."

    Does this mean:
    1A-He is happy when he is writing a novel.
    or:
    2A-He is happy when he has finished a novel.
    or:
    3A-Both of the above are possible.


    Same question as regards:

    B-He is happy when he talks to a friend.

    Does this mean:
    1B-when he is talking.
    2B-when he has talked.
    3B-both are possible.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: when he wrote

    "He is happy when he writes a novel" means, he is happy when he is writing a novel.

    The use of the present simple tense (he writes) expresses a routine or a habit, something we do, and not something we did.

    Same holds true for "He is happy when he talks to a friend", which means, when he is talking.

    :D

  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,966
    Post Thanks / Like
    I agree that in that context it would most probably mean that (a lot of "that"s in that sentence!!), but what do you think of:

    C-They pay him when he writes a novel.
    D-They pay him when he talks to a patient.

    If these sentences are correct, they mean they pay him once he has written a novel or talked to a patient, don't they?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    I agree that in that context it would most probably mean that (a lot of "that"s in that sentence!!), but what do you think of:

    C-They pay him when he writes a novel.
    D-They pay him when he talks to a patient.

    If these sentences are correct, they mean they pay him once he has written a novel or talked to a patient, don't they?
    'when' means at the same time as,

    :D They pay him at the same time as he is writing a novel and talking to a patient.

    If you want 'when' to mean once he has , use 'after':

    :D They pay him after he writes a novel / talks to a patient.


    :D

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,570
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan
    C-They pay him when he writes a novel.
    D-They pay him when he talks to a patient.

    If these sentences are correct, they mean they pay him once he has written a novel or talked to a patient, don't they?
    In actual usage it can mean that. Example:

    • I am a thingamabob salesman. They pay me when I sell a thingamabob.


    While when can be used that way, I would, nevertheless, avoid doing so. You are likely to be wrong more often than not.

    :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,970
    Post Thanks / Like
    • I am a thingamabob salesman. They pay me when I sell a thingamabob.


    While when can be used that way, I would, nevertheless, avoid doing so. You are likely to be wrong more often than not.
    Wonderful explanation :D I see it now :o

    :D

  7. #7
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,966
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks Casiopea and RonBee.
    I think that the problem is that the word "when" means two things: "once" and "while"; but this has to be verified.

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,570
    Post Thanks / Like

    When

    When can be used as an adverb, a conjunction, a pronoun, or a noun.



    :)

Similar Threads

  1. British English or American accent?
    By Anonymous in forum Frequently Asked Questions
    Replies: 230
    Last Post: 24-Apr-2010, 05:00
  2. Who is really smarter boys or girls????????
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 55
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2009, 15:40
  3. Edgar Allan Poe
    By Lenka in forum Literature
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 28-Aug-2004, 16:36
  4. write ... as ...
    By beeja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 30-Jul-2004, 06:12
  5. The Hidden Evidence: The Past Family
    By shun in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 143
    Last Post: 09-Nov-2003, 01:56

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •