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    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    please help

    Someone has corrected a phrase that I've written, could you please let me know if I was wrong, and which are the correct verb tenses :
    I wrote: " please don't send anything out until I'll assign the item code"
    The person that corrected me said I shouldn't have used the future form, just the present ("until I assign"). Which one is correct?
    Thank you very much!
    Julia


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by juliani View Post
    Someone has corrected a phrase that I've written, could you please let me know if I was wrong, and which are the correct verb tenses :
    I wrote: " please don't send anything out until I'll assign the item code"
    The person that corrected me said I shouldn't have used the future form, just the present ("until I assign"). Which one is correct?
    Thank you very much!
    Julia

    "until I assign" is correct.

    "Please don't send anything out until I assign the item code."

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • England
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      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,624
    #3

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    "until I assign" is correct.

    "Please don't send anything out until I assign the item code."
    Even better would be the present perfect "...until I have assigned..."


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #4

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Even better would be the present perfect "...until I have assigned..."
    I don't think that's necessarily better.


    Let's say, for example:

    In this office, the asker assigns codes as a regular and recurring duty.

    The workers are not to send things out until she does. She does it every morning before 10am, so their holdup is not unduly long.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #5

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by juliani View Post
    Someone has corrected a phrase that I've written, could you please let me know if I was wrong, and which are the correct verb tenses :
    I wrote: " please don't send anything out until I'll assign the item code"
    The person that corrected me said I shouldn't have used the future form, just the present ("until I assign"). Which one is correct?
    Thank you very much!
    Julia
    The person's correction was right.

    Please, don't send anything out until I'll assign the item code.

    Please, don't send anything out until I assign the item code.

    We don't use "will" after an adverbial conjunction, or in an adverbial clause. In this sentence "until" is an adverbial conjunction.

    Here's another example of when it's incorrect to use "will".
    By the way, "will" is not "the future". It's used in some cases to indicate future time. This is another topic.
    Before you will put everything in the box, make sure you have all the items.


    Before you put everything in the box, make sure you have all the items.

    The first clause is an adverbial clause, and "before" is an adverbial conjuction. We could call the first clause a time clause or an adverbial clause.
    Last edited by PROESL; 10-Oct-2009 at 00:17.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #6

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Even better would be the present perfect "...until I have assigned..."
    Why?

    I think the simple form suffices here.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #7

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Why?

    I think the simple form suffices here.
    I think so too, but why are these different:

    "Don't say 'yes' until I finish talking."
    ~ A Biography of Darryl F. Zanuck

    "Don't make a sound until I've hung up the phone."


    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 2
    #8

    Re: please help

    Many thanks to you all! Excellent posts!


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #9

    Re: please help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I think so too, but why are these different:

    "Don't say 'yes' until I finish talking."
    ~ A Biography of Darryl F. Zanuck

    "Don't make a sound until I've hung up the phone."
    It's possible to use the present perfect or the simple form in both sentences. However, the present perfect is less likely, or not as logical of a choice, if we are talking about a general or regular occurence of an action or an event.

    Don't say "yes" until I finish talking. Don't say "yes" until I have finished talking. - I think that if the speaker is referring to a one-time occurence, then both the simple form and the present perfect form are likely or logical choices.

    Don't make a sound until I've hung up the phone. - It's obvious here that the speaker is referring to one specific occurence of an action or event, and, therefore, the present perfect becomes a logical choice, but the simple form is quite obviously just as correct. Using the present perfect would indicate completion of an action at the moment, or a particular given moment in all such occurences of an event or action, to which the speaker is referring.

    To say that the present perfect form is better can only confuse a student. Most of the time there's a way to explain something with either some thought or investigation - or both.

    It's important to not confuse what sounds better to one with what is correct. Maybe the present perfect is preferable to one or another here, but it is not better. This leaves the student asking if by "better" the teacher means "more correct".

    Last edited by PROESL; 10-Oct-2009 at 00:21.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #10

    Re: please help

    Yes, I agree. That's why I made the little office story specify that it was a regular and recurring part of her duties to assign a code. I think the present tense tends to suggest an ongoing event, but the perfect implies one-offs.

    But I think you're right that there's a lot of personal choice too.

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