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  1. #1
    jasonlulu_2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default by when or by which

    Richard is expected to return in January, by _____ everything should be ready.
    A. which B. when

    I will go for A since which refers to January.
    Or I think:
    Richard is expected back in January, when everything should be ready.

    Am I right?

    What is a native's opinion?

    Jason

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    Richard is expected to return in January, by _____ everything should be ready.
    A. which B. when

    I will go for A since which refers to January.
    Or I think:
    Richard is expected back in January, when everything should be ready.

    Am I right?

    What is a native's opinion?

    Jason
    I don't like either of the choices.


    I would use one of these:
    Richard is expected to return in January. By then, everything should be ready.
    Richard is expected to return in January, by which time everything should be ready. - Not great, but better than "by which"
    Richard is expected to return in January, when everything should be ready. (Your suggestion, which was good.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    I'd say, "by which time".

    "By when" is just about possible; "by which" is not.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Richard is expected to return in January, when everything should be ready. (Your suggestion, which was good.)
    No. Jason's suggstion was 'by when', which is not good, in my opinion.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    Or I think:
    Richard is expected back in January, when everything should be ready.
    His second suggestion.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    jasonlulu_2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    Thanks!

    Just one more question: Could I say "by January everything should be ready"?

    If yes, why couldn't I say "by which"? I want to use "which" to replace "January" as a noun. Like "We met in January, in which a lot of weird things happened". Here, which =January.

    Or are you going to tell me that if we write a sentence using "by", then we tend to say "by which time" instead of "by which"?

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    Quote Originally Posted by jasonlulu_2000 View Post
    Thanks!

    Just one more question: Could I say "by January everything should be ready"?

    If yes, why couldn't I say "by which"? I want to use "which" to replace "January" as a noun. Like "We met in January, in which a lot of weird things happened". Here, which =January.

    Or are you going to tell me that if we write a sentence using "by", then we tend to say "by which time" instead of "by which"?
    I can only tell you what is natural. Perhaps 5jj can give you the reasons why. (Or tell you that it sounds okay in BrE.)

    We met in January, a month in which a lot of weird things happened.
    We met in January, when a lot of weird things happened.

    Yes, we say "by which time" instead of "by which."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    His second suggestion.
    Sorry.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  9. #9
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: by when or by which

    No worries. It's not like you did something really egrejus. Like speeled something worng or typed it wrogn like I usually do :)

    Edited to add: Note to learners - this post is full of intentional errors. Do not emulate.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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