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  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default present or future

    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me if my English is correct ?

    "We were late for the film yesterday. I was really upset to have missed it. Next time, I will make sure we arrive on / in time for the show."

    a) Should the verb phrase "make sure" be in the future only ?
    b) and the verb "arrive" in the simple present only and not the future ?
    c) which preposition should I use "in" or "on"?

    Would you please tell me why?

    Thank you for your help.
    Hela

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: present or future

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me if my English is correct ?

    "We were late for the film yesterday. I was really upset to have missed it. Next time, I will make sure we arrive on / in time for the show."

    a) Should the verb phrase "make sure" be in the future only ? I'm not sure what you mean here. "I will make sure..." is fine.
    b) and the verb "arrive" in the simple present only and not the future ? If you are asking if you should put "will" in front of "arrive", you shouldn't.
    c) which preposition should I use "in" or "on"? Both are correct. They give different meanings.

    Would you please tell me why?

    Thank you for your help.
    Hela
    Bhai.

  3. #3
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: present or future

    I find the first two sentences contradictory. "We were late for the film" means, to me, "We arrived late [so we missed the beginning but saw the rest". Your second sentence then says "I was really upset to have missed it" suggesting that you didn't see any of the film. The two don't go together.

    We were late for the film last night. I was really upset that I missed the start.
    We were too late to get in to see the film last night. I was really upset that I missed it.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: present or future

    Thank you very much for your answers.

    Now, even though I've seen in another thread that in British English we don't use the subjunctive after "make sure", how can one explain that we cannot use the future tense after "make sure" in my sentence ? For me the verb "arrive" looks as if it were a subjunctive.
    (Can I say "as if it was a subjunctive" if that was really the case?)

    "We were too late to get in to see the film last night. I was really upset that I missed it. Next time, I will make sure we arrive on / in time for the show."

    All the best

  5. #5
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    Default Re: present or future

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Thank you very much for your answers.

    Now, even though I've seen in another thread that in British English we don't use the subjunctive after "make sure", how can one explain that we cannot use the future tense after "make sure" in my sentence ? For me the verb "arrive" looks as if it were a subjunctive.
    (Can I say "as if it was a subjunctive" if that was really the case?)

    "We were too late to get in to see the film last night. I was really upset that I missed it. Next time, I will make sure we arrive on / in time for the show."

    All the best
    You'll get differing opinions on this forum as to whether English even truly has a subjunctive mood or not.
    I can't work out why you think the verb "arrive" looks like the subjunctive. In "I will make sure we arrive on time", the present tense of "we arrive" is simply used to denote the future, as we do very frequently.

    I will make sure it is done.
    I will make sure she is ready for her wedding.
    I will make sure she arrives at the church on time.
    It's your job to make sure the best man remembers to bring the wedding rings.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: present or future

    I will make sure that she is ready for her wedding.

    What will be the (future) situation that we want?
    At the future time, we will want to be able to think, "She is ready".
    I will make sure of that:
    I will make sure that she is ready for her wedding.

    Compare:

    I am sure (now) that she will be ready. - My thought is, "She will be ready".
    I will be happy if she is ready. - My future happiness will come from the thought, "She is ready".

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