Which one of the following sentences is grammatically better?

I hope she has started doing that by then.
I hope she will have started doing that by then.

Now, if I make it indirect, it will probably be:

My hope is that she will have started doing that by then

...Which makes me think the second one might not be correct.

Also, is there any difference between American and British English usage?

  • Note that all of your examples are equally indirect: it is just that you omitted "that" from the first two sentences. Nothing would change if you added it back in: "I hope that she...". Mar 2, 2011 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


The use of the future perfect tense ("will have started") is the more correct construction there; you are talking about a time in the future, before which time something should have occurred; but that thing has not occurred as of the moment at which you are speaking.

However, if you were to use the first construction, you would still be understood perfectly well.

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