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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default English grammar question.

Last night my wife wanted to watch a movie, and I said "By the time we went to bed, it will be 2:30."
My wife tried to say that's improper grammar, so I looked it up and its called a future perfect. Putting a past tense in a future statement. She still argues that it's improper, and I can't find anything to confirm that it's improper.
"It will be 2:30 by the time we went to bed."
Can anyone tell me, for sure, if I'm right or wrong?

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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its your wife. You're always wrong.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How about "By the time we went to bed, it would be 2:30."

I must admit, I'm not overly fussed about grammar.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"By the time we've gone to bed, it will be 2:30"?
I'm an absolute grammar nazi, but this one is up to interpretation.
mikedt and KENNECTED like this.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes dear.

I've been married for 11 years. Happy wife, happy life.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm a grammar Nazi too. That's why this is bothering me.
I will have finished my cereal by the time our guests have arrived. - sounds right to me.
I will be 52 by the time we've landed on Mars.

http://www.englishtenses.com/tenses/future_perfect
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Old October 8th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with your wife, doesn't make sense to me.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry to say, but I agree with your wife.

"By the time we go to bed, it will be 2:30."
"It would be 2:30 by the time we went to bed."
"It will be 2:30 by the time we go to bed."
"It will be 2:30 by the time we get to bed."
not
"It will be 2:30 by the time we went to bed."
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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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although your sentence is grammar correct.
but i think she is right .. in this situation.

went is past tense.. and you are talking about the future... so
I agree with the post above.. "GO" should be used.

It would be 2:30 by the time we go to bed.
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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, it *sounds* like your wife was right in this case to me too.

But honestly, she was right regardless.
As granite said:
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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jova33 View Post
Last night my wife wanted to watch a movie, and I said "By the time we went to bed, it will be 2:30."
My wife tried to say that's improper grammar, so I looked it up and its called a future perfect. Putting a past tense in a future statement. She still argues that it's improper, and I can't find anything to confirm that it's improper.
"It will be 2:30 by the time we went to bed."
Can anyone tell me, for sure, if I'm right or wrong?
No matter how you word it or say it.

The wife is always gonna be right no matter how wrong she is.

End of story lol.

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Old October 8th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'd say "it will be 2:30 by the time we go to bed."
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Old October 9th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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"By the time we go to bed, it will be 2:30."

but I prefer.

"It will be 2:30 by the time we go to bed."

"went" is the past participle of "go".

e.g. "It was 2:30 when we went to bed." or "We went to bed at 2:30".
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Old October 9th, 2012, 09:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Ding ding. That sounds good to me.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 10:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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In the link I posted it shows having a past tense verb in a future statement.
I gave up, she won already. This is just for my future knowledge.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jova33 View Post
In the link I posted it shows having a past tense verb in a future statement.
I gave up, she won already. This is just for my future knowledge.
The link you posted shows the use of modals in the future perfect, "went" is not a modal. Just for your future knowledge.

OK that's enough grammar for the moment, it's time for me to go to school.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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OP:

There is more to communication than being grammatically correct. Something has to be said for being concise and clear as well. As others have already posted, there are many other ways of phrasing what you wanted to say without causing your wife to scratch her head about your weird wording.

BTW, your original phrasing did not employ the future perfect tense at all. Future perfect is:

"will have been." You said "will be" which is just regular ol' future tense of the verb "to be".

The first half of your sentence is imperfect past tense, which ideally would have been finished off with the imperfect past tense:

"By the time we went to bed, it was 2:30."

But that clearly was not your meaning. So the best way to phrase what you meant is:

"By the time we go to bed, it will be 2:30."


"We went to bed" can also be preterite past tense; the difference is that preterite implies a past event that has already concluded, whereas imperfect past tense implies ongoing action. In the context of your original sentence, you are referring to the act of going to bed, so it's in progress. English speakers often have a hard time distinguishing between preterite and imperfect tenses because often there is no distinction in the grammar. Romance languages make the distinction very clear in the verb conjugation.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 12:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you for breaking it down for me
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Old October 10th, 2012, 02:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novox77 View Post
"We went to bed" can also be preterite past tense; the difference is that preterite implies a past event that has already concluded, whereas imperfect past tense implies ongoing action. In the context of your original sentence, you are referring to the act of going to bed, so it's in progress. English speakers often have a hard time distinguishing between preterite and imperfect tenses because often there is no distinction in the grammar. Romance languages make the distinction very clear in the verb conjugation.

Centurion: Romani...Eunt? What is eunt?
Brian: "Go"! De...
Centurion: Conjugate the verb "go"!
Brian: Aah...ere, eo, is, it, imus, itis, eunt.
Centurion: So eunt is...?
Brian: Aah, ehm...third person plural present indicative.
Ehm..."they go".
Centurion: But "Romans go home" is an order, so you must use
the...?
Brian: Aih! Imperative!
Centurion: Which is...?
Brian: Ehm, oh...oh, ehm...i, i!
Centurion: How many Romans?
Brian: Aah! it's...plural, plural! Ite! Ite!


No wonder so many students seem to hate doing Latin at school.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 06:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Wife's right.

"By the time we went to bed, it will be 2:30" isn't a real sentence. "Went" is past tense and the problem in this example.

Have you shown her this thread yet!?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #21 (permalink)
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She won the discussion like days ago. why should I show her more proof that she was right? Lol
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Old October 11th, 2012, 05:46 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jova33 View Post
She won the discussion like days ago. why should I show her more proof that she was right? Lol
Maybe she'll reward you given your humility?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Then this must work too:

By the time I got to Phoenix, she'll be rising.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 11:12 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Yep!! Go not Went ... You can go places but you can't went anywhere !!
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Old October 11th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #25 (permalink)
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"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is also correct. Difficult to understand, but grammatically correct.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jova33 View Post
I'm a grammar Nazi too. That's why this is bothering me.
I will have finished my cereal by the time our guests have arrived. - sounds right to me.
I will be 52 by the time we've landed on Mars.

Future Perfect - EnglishTenses.com
You're going mars?
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Old October 11th, 2012, 06:48 PM   #27 (permalink)
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C'mon let's make this fun.

"Fishy fish fishy fish fish fish fishy fish."

Think about it.
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