when he wrote

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navi tasan

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A-"He is happy when he writes a novel."

Does this mean:
1A-He is happy when he is writing a novel.
or:
2A-He is happy when he has finished a novel.
or:
3A-Both of the above are possible.


Same question as regards:

B-He is happy when he talks to a friend.

Does this mean:
1B-when he is talking.
2B-when he has talked.
3B-both are possible.
 

Casiopea

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"He is happy when he writes a novel" means, he is happy when he is writing a novel.

The use of the present simple tense (he writes) expresses a routine or a habit, something we do, and not something we did.

Same holds true for "He is happy when he talks to a friend", which means, when he is talking.

:D
 

navi tasan

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I agree that in that context it would most probably mean that (a lot of "that"s in that sentence!!), but what do you think of:

C-They pay him when he writes a novel.
D-They pay him when he talks to a patient.

If these sentences are correct, they mean they pay him once he has written a novel or talked to a patient, don't they?
 

Casiopea

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navi tasan said:
I agree that in that context it would most probably mean that (a lot of "that"s in that sentence!!), but what do you think of:

C-They pay him when he writes a novel.
D-They pay him when he talks to a patient.

If these sentences are correct, they mean they pay him once he has written a novel or talked to a patient, don't they?

'when' means at the same time as,

:D They pay him at the same time as he is writing a novel and talking to a patient.

If you want 'when' to mean once he has , use 'after':

:D They pay him after he writes a novel / talks to a patient.


:D
 

RonBee

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navi tasan said:
C-They pay him when he writes a novel.
D-They pay him when he talks to a patient.

If these sentences are correct, they mean they pay him once he has written a novel or talked to a patient, don't they?

In actual usage it can mean that. Example:

  • I am a thingamabob salesman. They pay me when I sell a thingamabob.

While when can be used that way, I would, nevertheless, avoid doing so. You are likely to be wrong more often than not.

:)
 

Casiopea

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  • I am a thingamabob salesman. They pay me when I sell a thingamabob.

While when can be used that way, I would, nevertheless, avoid doing so. You are likely to be wrong more often than not.

Wonderful explanation :D I see it now :eek:

:D
 

navi tasan

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Thanks Casiopea and RonBee.
I think that the problem is that the word "when" means two things: "once" and "while"; but this has to be verified.
 
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