Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the most correct way of saying to someone that I won't speak to him before he has apologised.

  1. I won't speak to you until you have apologised for what you have done.
  2. I won't speak to you until you apologised for what you have done.
  3. I won't speak to you until you apologise for what you have done.
  4. I won't speak to you until you have apologised for what you did.
  5. I won't speak to you until you apologised for what you did.
  6. I won't speak to you until you apologise for what you did.
share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

1, 3, 4, and 6 are all reasonable choices, but of these, 6 is the most common and generally accepted choice. It is the most direct, succinct, and effective way of saying it.

2 and 5 are not acceptable. "Apologised" is not the correct tense to coordinate with "until," because "until" must refer to something that will occur in the future; "apologised" cannot be in the future (unless it is modified in some way, such as adding "have").

share|improve this answer
    
Do you think there is a difference between American English and British English for this (for this, on this or in this? I'm confused)? –  AmauryFrançais Mar 11 '13 at 9:23
    
"On this" would be correct ("on this matter"). I seriously doubt that British English could differ from what I have said here, because it seems to me a fairly basic grammatical point, not much subject to interpretation or debate. (Also note that I retained your British spelling of "apologise" even though I'm American, so if you thought I would answer your comment from the British point of view, that's probably why.) –  John M. Landsberg Mar 11 '13 at 9:30
    
On the other hand, British English does have some locutions that seem preposterous to us Yanks, just as we say some things that sound equally preposterous to the British, so I could be quite wrong; maybe there IS some difference between the British and American views of this question. –  John M. Landsberg Mar 11 '13 at 9:32
    
The British view is the same. –  Andrew Leach Mar 11 '13 at 9:42
add comment

Here are my suggestions:

  1. OK
  2. not OK
  3. OK
  4. OK
  5. not OK
  6. OK

Either have apologised or apologise can be used.

"What you did" and "what you have done" are both fine.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.