English grammar question.

Last Updated:

  1. jova33

    jova33 Well-Known Member

    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?

  2. Atma

    Atma Well-Known Member

    Its your wife. You're always wrong.
  3. XplosiV

    XplosiV Master X is Watching You VIP Member

    How about "By the time we went to bed, it would be 2:30."

    I must admit, I'm not overly fussed about grammar. :D
    ocnbrze likes this.
  4. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    "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.
    ocnbrze and KENNECTED like this.
  5. Granite1

    Granite1 Zercron Encrusted Tweezer Moderator

    Yes dear.

    I've been married for 11 years. Happy wife, happy life. ;)
    ocnbrze and XplosiV like this.
  6. jova33

    jova33 Well-Known Member

    ocnbrze likes this.
  7. gibbs1984

    gibbs1984 Well-Known Member

    I agree with your wife, doesn't make sense to me.
  8. TheAtheistReverend

    TheAtheistReverend Anybody want a peanut? VIP Member

    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."
    "It will be 2:30 by the time we went to bed."
  9. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it *sounds* like your wife was right in this case to me too.

    But honestly, she was right regardless. ;)
    As granite said:
    DragonSlayer95 likes this.
  11. DragonSlayer95

    DragonSlayer95 Resident Air Bender Moderator

    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.

    Sent From My HTC Evo 3D Using TapaTalk 2
  12. RazoE

    RazoE Well-Known Member

    I'd say "it will be 2:30 by the time we go to bed."
  13. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    "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".
    9to5cynic and SIII groupie like this.
  14. SIII groupie

    SIII groupie Well-Known Member

    Ding ding. That sounds good to me.
  15. jova33

    jova33 Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    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. :rolleyes:
  17. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns! VIP Member


    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.
    breadnatty08, jova33, ocnbrze and 2 others like this.
  18. jova33

    jova33 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for breaking it down for me :):)
  19. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    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
    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.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  20. FredParks

    FredParks Active Member

    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!?
  21. jova33

    jova33 Well-Known Member

    She won the discussion like days ago. why should I show her more proof that she was right? Lol
  22. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    Maybe she'll reward you given your humility? ;):D
  23. jefboyardee

    jefboyardee Well-Known Member

    Then this must work too:

    By the time I got to Phoenix, she'll be rising.
  24. Patriot1945ccc

    Patriot1945ccc New Member

    Yep!! Go not Went ... You can go places but you can't went anywhere !!
  25. TheAtheistReverend

    TheAtheistReverend Anybody want a peanut? VIP Member

    "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is also correct. Difficult to understand, but grammatically correct.

Share This Page