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    #1

    By the.....

    1)"By the time she calls, I'll be through reading a book."

    OR

    2)"By the time she calls, I'll be done with reading a book."

    OR

    3)"By the time she calls, I will have read a book."

    OR

    4)"By the time she calls, I'll finish reading a book."

    Do we always have to use the Future Perfect Tense after "by the time...."?
    Are sentences 1 and 2 correct? Would an average speaker catch the difference in conversation between 1,2 and 3 and 4?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: By the.....

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    1)"By the time she calls, I'll be through reading a book."

    OR

    2)"By the time she calls, I'll be done with reading a book."

    OR

    3)"By the time she calls, I will have read a book."

    OR

    4)"By the time she calls, I'll finish reading a book."

    Do we always have to use the Future Perfect Tense after "by the time...."?
    Are sentences 1 and 2 correct? Would an average speaker catch the difference in conversation between 1,2 and 3 and 4?
    IMO only #3 is correct, even that would be better with "the book".

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    #3

    Re: By the.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    IMO only #3 is correct, even that would be better with "the book".
    The third one is perfectly correct. Got it. What do other people think about sentences 1,2 and 4?

  2. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: By the.....

    I agree with bhaisahab. You might hear #1 or #2 but they`re not very elegant. I doubt that youŽd ever hear #4.
    Last edited by riquecohen; 15-Oct-2010 at 15:30.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: By the.....

    In my youth I used to be reactionary and prescriptive, but I appear to be growing more tolerant in my old age.

    The first two utterances are not very formal, and they may not be particularly elegant (though that judgement is fairly subjective), but I hear such utterances all the time from reasonably educated speakers (usually American). I think they are acceptable.

    I do agree with bhaisahab about the. Circumstances, not grammar, suggest that such utterances are more likely to be made if the speaker has a particular book in mind.

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