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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 35
    #1

    on arriving/ when arriving

    Hi teachers,

    I'd like to ask if I can use both on arriving and when arriving in the following sentence:

    On arriving /When arriving,they delivered the letter as quickly as they could.

    Which sentence is correct ?

    Thanks in advance


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: on arriving/ when arriving

    On arriving - since the delivery of a letter is a one-off occurrence.


    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 35
    #3

    Re: on arriving/ when arriving

    Thank you a lot,Anglika, but I'm afraid I haven't found that so clear yet

    when arriving
    can't be used because it is notgrammatically correct or it doesn't make sense ?

    Why on arriving is used in cases of one-off occurrence ?
    Please tell me more about this.

    Many thanks

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #4

    Re: on arriving/ when arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by kirimaru View Post
    Thank you a lot,Anglika, but I'm afraid I haven't found that so clear yet

    when arriving
    can't be used because it is notgrammatically correct or it doesn't make sense ?

    Why on arriving is used in cases of one-off occurrence ?
    Please tell me more about this.

    Many thanks
    "On arrival" is also correct.
    In general, "On arriving" is not incorrect for multiple actions. For example:
    "Guests are asked to go to Reception on arriving". (This refers to the present and future).
    Yes, "when arriving" is ungrammatical in your case. Your sentence is in the past tense.
    "On arriving /When arriving,they delivered the letter as quickly as they could."
    It means "When they arrived, they ..." or "On their arrival, they ..."
    You could say "Arriving/after arriving/on arriving/, they delivered the letter..". But not "When arriving..." for the past tense.
    I can't explain it any better. We just don't say it.


    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 35
    #5

    Re: on arriving/ when arriving

    hi and thanks for your feedback, Raymott

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post

    Yes, "when arriving" is ungrammatical in your case. Your sentence is in the past tense.
    "On arriving /When arriving,they delivered the letter as quickly as they could."

    You could say "Arriving/after arriving/on arriving/, they delivered the letter..". But not "When arriving..." for the past tense.
    I have just come across this sentence :

    When landing in Cairo, the president's plane lost a wheel and almost crashed.

    This is also in past tense and when landing means when the president's plane landed right ?

    Grammatically, is there any difference between when arriving and when landing ?

    I can't explain it any better. We just don't say it.
    I know, it seems to be so difficult for you to explain your using word habit. This happens to me, too when using my own language

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #6

    Re: on arriving/ when arriving

    Quote Originally Posted by kirimaru View Post
    I have just come across this sentence :

    When landing in Cairo, the president's plane lost a wheel and almost crashed.

    Grammatically, is there any difference between when arriving and when landing ?
    No, there's no grammatical difference. But this sentence doesn't sound as bad as the one with "When arriving, they delivered the letter".
    In the Cairo incident, the wheel feel off during the landing. The letter was delivered after arrival. It's a matter of style.


    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 35
    #7

    Re: on arriving/ when arriving

    Got it !
    Many thanks to you, Raymott

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