Time-Relative Events

Express the timing of two connected events

TV Reporterteapot

 

Time-Related Clauses

MAIN CLAUSE TIME-RELATIVE CLAUSE

When we wish to place importance on the time frames of two scheduled or planned activities, we introduce the first activity and then join the second activity using a time-relative preposition. Use will in the main clause.

Join the second clause with a time-relative preposition (after, before, while, when, as long as, as soon as, until, or by the time) indicating "earlier", "later", or "same time".   Use the simple present tense in this clause.

FIRST ACTIVITY SECOND ACTIVITY

I will make tea

before we watch TV.    (earlier than the TV start time)

I will have made tea

by the time he arrives. (possibly before but no later than when he arrives)

 

SAME-TIME ACTIVITY SAME-TIME ACTIVITY

I will be making tea

while we watch TV.    (during TV time)

I will make tea

 

when we watch TV.    (at TV time)

 

We will be drinking tea

as long as we are watching TV.    (throughout the TV time)

 

SECOND ACTIVITY FIRST ACTIVITY

I will make tea

after we watch TV.   (later than the TV start time)

I will make tea

as soon as we watch TV.    (at the TV starting time)

I won't make tea   (negative)

until we watch TV.    (at the TV starting time)

the moment – as soon as, when–  We have to leave the moment he gets here.

See After/ Before/ When (Grammar Notes for terms.) , By the time

 

(Azar 17-2) (Huddleston 696)  (Swan 29.1-1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Related-Events

A Later Event

 

 

After vs. Afterwards

AFTER

After introduces the first activity clause when two time-related activities are mentioned in paired clauses. (when, the moment, as soon as – immediately after)

SECOND FIRST ACTIVITY

I will teach

after I get my degree.

 

when I get my degree.

 

the moment I get my degree.

 

as soon as I get my degree.

 

 

 

 
AFTERWARDS

Afterward(s) is used to introduce a second activity (not after).  The -s is more commonly used in British English.

FIRST SECOND ACTIVITY

I'll get my degree.  

*After, I'll teach at a university.  (not used)

 

Afterwards, I'll teach at a university. 

 

Shortly after, I'll teach at a university.

 

Not long after, I'll teach at a university.

 

After that, I'll teach at a university.

I will get my degree⇒

before I teach at a university.  (unlikely!) 

*Instead of after use afterward(s) or after that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Punctuation

Comma Use

 

 

 

Initial vs. Final Clause Position

INITIAL POSITION

commaA time-relative preposition and its clause can be moved to the beginning of the sentence with a comma placed after it (separating the clauses.)

USE A COMMA

As soon as you get here, we'll leave.  

Before I drink coffee, my head aches.

After I drink coffee, my headache stops.

When you give me the keys, I'll start driving.

MID POSITION

no commaWhen a time-relative preposition is placed between the two clauses, no comma is used.

USE NO COMMA

We'll leave as soon as you get here.

My head hurts before I drink coffee.

My headache stops after I drink coffee.

I'll start driving when you give me the keys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors & Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*After I will make a telephone call, we can leave.

*We went to dinner, and after, went dancing.

~We have to leave at the moment he gets here.  (not incorrect, but not used) 

SOLUTION

After I make a telephone call, we can leave.  (omit will)

We went to dinner, and then, went dancing. 
We went to dinner, and after that, went dancing.  (After is seldom used alone. Use and then instead.)

We have to leave the moment he gets here.  as soon as, when (The preposition at is usually omitted.)   

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Travel

Tahiti

 

Present or future modal?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.
Next week, we are going on vacation.
Next week, we are going on vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

Time-relative Events

Sister talking to brother

 

Read the Context

Mara:   Will you remember to email me as soon as you (get)____  there?

Jack:   I won't be able to email you until I (have)____ a WiFi connection.

Mara:  OK then. When it (be)____ 11:30, I'll check to see if the flight has landed.

Jack:  Would you also phone Aunt Carol after the plane (land)____?"

Mara:   Yes, she (be)____ waiting in the cell phone lot nearby until she hears from me.

Jack:  Great!  I'll call you as soon as I (get)____ to her home.

 

 

Present, present progressive or future modal?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

9.

10.

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14.

WiFi- data exchange over a wireless Internet network