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Thread: Time Clauses

  1. #11
    tzfujimino's Avatar
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    Re: Time Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    I'll find a job after I finish my studies.


    We'll make tea when the water has boiled.
    Perhaps I should write
    Both are correct, but have a slightly different meaning? Can you have a go at seeing the difference?

    tedmac:
    We'll make tea when the water is boiled.

    Good sentence to use if there's a cholera outbreak!
    Anyone see what this sentence actually means?!
    Please allow me to have a go as well.

    Well...

    We'll make tea when the water has boiled.
    is like...'We'll make tea after the water has boiled (enough for us to drink).'

    We'll make tea when the water boils.
    sounds like...'We'll make tea (as soon) as the water boils.'

    We'll make tea when the water is boiled.
    I'm not sure about this one...but it could probably be like...'We'll make tea after we (have) boil(ed) the water.' I can't explain it well, but it sounds like...it is necessary that we should boil the water for some reason. Well, obviously we have to boil the water to drink tea, which is one of the reasons, but it sounds as if there's some other reason for it (such as cholera outbreak, as David mentioned).


    a. 'We boil the water.'
    b. 'The water boils.'
    Perhaps these two sentences are the keys to understand the difference.
    Last edited by tzfujimino; 27-Jul-2008 at 17:50.

  2. #12
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: Time Clauses

    My try

    When water boils, it bubbles and steams.

    water has boiled - water has bubbled and stopped(as in automatic kettle switching off by itself)

    water boils - as soon as the water starts to bubble and is still bubbling

    water is boiled - the boiling process is complete, water is thoroughly boiled

  3. #13
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: Time Clauses

    So David, have we got it right?

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    Re: Time Clauses

    tedmac:
    We'll make tea when the water is boiled.

    Good sentence to use if there's a cholera outbreak!


    This is butter. This is sugar.
    This is boiled water. This is unboiled water, straight from the well.
    This water is boiled. This water is unboiled.

    When there is an outbreak of certain diseases that are carried in the water supply, it is necessary to boil all water before consumption. This is not just a case of bringing the water to the boil, but letting it boil for 10 minutes to kill the germs.

    So - we'll make tea when the water available to use is 'boiled water'. We will then heat this water up until it boils and then make the tea.

    We'll make tea when the water has boiled.
    We'll make tea when the water boils.

    Both are correct, but have a slightly different meaning.


    I mentioned this because so many posters are unsure about Present Perfect tense.
    tedtmc wrote:
    water has boiled - water has bubbled and stopped(as in automatic kettle switching off by itself)

    water boils - as soon as the water starts to bubble and is still bubbling


    Yes. And there is a quirk with Present Perfect tense in its use here. Present Perfect indicates a period of time, from that moment in the past when we turned the electric jug on, till it boils. But Present Perfect tense is also used when situations still exist : "I have lived here for 5 years" means I moved here 5 years ago, and I am still living here.
    So - the electric jug heats up, boils, and turns itself off. I know Mum put the jug on to boil. I walk into the kitchen 5 minutes AFTER the jug has turned itself off, see that it has turned itself off, and call out, "Mum, the water's boiled/the water has boiled." Yes it has boiled, and that situation still exists - but the water is now only luke warm.
    So - "We'll make tea when the water boils" -(as tedtmc said: is still bubbling) and we'll have a decent cup of tea.
    To have the same meaning and same decent cup of tea, we would have to modify the Present Perfect tense so that it doesn't misleadingly refer to a situation continuing to exist:
    "As soon as the water has boiled, we'll..."

    So much simpler to use the Simple Present tense!
    Last edited by David L.; 29-Jul-2008 at 08:58.

  5. #15
    tedtmc is offline Key Member
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    Re: Time Clauses

    Thanks David for the clear and interesting explanation.

    This is not just a case of bringing the water to the boil, but letting it boil for 10 minutes to kill the germs.
    10 minutes you reckon? How much or how long of boiling it takes to make 'boiled water' is subjective, don't you think?
    To you, it has to be 10 minutes.
    To other people, 2 minutes of boiling(to bring to the boil, as you said) may be enough.
    And who is to say the criterion to classify 'boiled' and 'unboiled' is safety for drinking and to have all the germs killed?
    Last edited by tedtmc; 29-Jul-2008 at 10:36.

  6. #16
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    Re: Time Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by tedtmc View Post
    Thanks David for the clear and interesting explanation.


    10 minutes you reckon? How much or how long of boiling it takes to make 'boiled water' is subjective, don't you think?
    To you, it has to be 10 minutes.
    To other people, 2 minutes of boiling(to bring to the boil, as you said) may be enough.
    And who is to say the criterion to classify 'boiled' and 'unboiled' is safety for drinking and to have all the germs killed?
    The World Health Organization usually deals with issues like this. I'm sure their methods are far from subjective.

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    Re: Time Clauses

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The World Health Organization usually deals with issues like this. I'm sure their methods are far from subjective.
    It says here:

    Bringing water to a boil is adequate for disinfection.
    Water Purification

    In any case, who is to say that the criterion to classify boiled and unboiled water is to do with safety for consumption? My contention is that boiled water is water that has been heated to reach boiling point (or brought to a boil).

  8. #18
    Jaskin is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Time Clauses

    Hello,
    My colleague said it's splitting a hair and I agee with him.
    The differences are far too subtle to tell them apart in everyday situations.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Time Clauses

    Bringing water to a boil is adequate for disinfection.

    Is this a science exam; or is it to help people understand the nuances of language - for those who care, that is!

    A few of these reactions remind me of the response I've heard, said about people who actually do reflect on their thoughts, feelings and the human condition : 'he thinks too much'. Does he?/Do they? or are the dismissive ones just 'mindless' ?
    Interesting. Something to think about.
    Last edited by David L.; 29-Jul-2008 at 19:16.

  10. #20
    Polarenvy is offline Newbie
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    Re: Time Clauses

    We'll make tea when the water is boiled.
    Wouldn't it be, "We'll make tea when the water is boiling."?

    I don't think water can be boiled in the present tense.

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