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    #1

    Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    Hi!

    Here we have two pairs of sentences, I wonder how does the first sentence of each pair differs with the other sentence in that pair?

    If he makes a mistake, he will try to correct it.
    If he has made a mistake, he will try to correct it.

    If he finishes his work he will come to the party.
    If he has finished his work he will come to the party.

    I'm citing these examples from my grammar book even the punctuation is the same but I do not know why there is a "," in the first pair and there is not such punctuation mark in the second pair.

  1. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    In each pair, the first sentence refers wholly to the future. The second sentences refer both to the immediate past ["if he has made a mistake"] and the future ["he will try to correct it].

    In both pairs of sentences, it's a matter of personal taste as to whether or not a comma is necessary. The author may have decided one way when drafting the first pair, then changed his mind when drafting the second pair - and forgot to go back and amend the first pair.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #3

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    The commas are optional.

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    #4

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
    In each pair, the first sentence refers wholly to the future. The second sentences refer both to the immediate past ["if he has made a mistake"] and the future ["he will try to correct it].

    In both pairs of sentences, it's a matter of personal taste as to whether or not a comma is necessary. The author may have decided one way when drafting the first pair, then changed his mind when drafting the second pair - and forgot to go back and amend the first pair.
    Now that I understood almost what the difference is, let me cite another example to discuss on. Consider this sentence:

    He will not come to the party until he has finished his work. This sentence means that if he can finish his work early enough in the past, he goes to the party.

    So what is the difference between that sentence and this one?

    He will not come to the party until he has not finished his work.

    I think they say much the same thing, don't they?

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    #5

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    Quote Originally Posted by toloue_man View Post
    Now that I understood almost what the difference is, let me cite another example to discuss on. Consider this sentence:

    He will not come to the party until he has finished his work. This sentence means that if he can finish his work early enough in the past, he goes to the party.

    So what is the difference between that sentence and this one?

    He will not come to the party until he has not finished his work.

    I think they say much the same thing, don't they?
    The second version makes no sense. You could use "because" instead of "until".

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    #6

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    Quote Originally Posted by toloue_man View Post
    I'm citing these examples from my grammar book even the punctuation is the same but I do not know why there is a "," in the first pair and there is not such punctuation mark in the second pair.
    It's inconsistent- I would use the commas.

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    #7

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    Quote Originally Posted by toloue_man View Post
    Now that I understood almost what the difference is, let me cite another example to discuss on. Consider this sentence:

    He will not come to the party until he has finished his work. This sentence means that if he can finish his work early enough in the past, he goes to the party.
    (neither an English teacher nor a native speaker)

    Please do correct me if I am wrong but, as I see it, the whole sentence refers to the future. I don't think that it has anything to do with "finishing his work in the past". IMO, the use of the present perfect here indicates nothing more than just the completion of the process of doing his work: only after finishing his work will he be able to go to the party.
    Last edited by 5jj; 11-Dec-2013 at 14:32. Reason: format tidied

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    #8

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    [QUOTE=Weaver67;1031697]
    Quote Originally Posted by toloue_man View Post
    Now that I understood almost what the difference is, let me cite another example to discuss on. Consider this sentence:

    He will not come to the party until he has finished his work. This sentence means that if he can finish his work early enough in the past, he goes to the party.
    QUOTE]

    (neither an English teacher nor a native speaker)

    Please do correct me if I am wrong but, as I see it, the whole sentence refers to the future. I don't think that it has anything to do with "finishing his work in the past". IMO, the use of the present perfect here indicates nothing more than just the completion of the process of doing his work: only after finishing his work will he be able to go to the party.
    No. When present perfect is used in a dependent time or conditional clause it refers to completion of that event in past, in other words, before the verb is independent clause.

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    #9

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    [QUOTE=toloue_man;1031702]
    Quote Originally Posted by Weaver67 View Post
    No. When present perfect is used in a dependent time or conditional clause it refers to completion of that event in past, in other words, before the verb is independent clause.
    No. Weaver67 is right.

    He will not come to the party until he has finished his work.

    Both the coming to the party and the finishing of the work are in the future. It is true that the coming to the party will be after the finishing of the work, and so, at the time of the coming to the party, the finishing of the work will be past. However, At the time of uttering the above sentence, it is still in the future. Perhaps it will be clearer with this example:

    When my wife has buried me after my death, she will dance on my grave.

    I haven't died yet, and she hasn't buried me yet. These two things are future events - a long way in the future, I hope.

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    #10

    Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Present in conditional clause

    [QUOTE=5jj;1031706]
    Quote Originally Posted by toloue_man View Post
    No. Weaver67 is right.

    He will not come to the party until he has finished his work.

    Both the coming to the party and the finishing of the work are in the future. It is true that the coming to the party will be after the finishing of the work, and so, at the time of the coming to the party, the finishing of the work will be past. However, At the time of uttering the above sentence, it is still in the future. Perhaps it will be clearer with this example:

    When my wife has buried me after my death, she will dance on my grave.

    I haven't died yet, and she hasn't buried me yet. These two things are future events - a long way in the future, I hope.
    Are you sure? Consider this example:
    He will not come to the party because he has not finished his work.

    In that sentence, "he has not finished his work" must be in the past because it does not seem logical since he will not finish his work in the future, he will not come to the party.

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