i have problem with the tense of this sentence: i would like to work as doctor when i finish my degree. maybe i should use it like this: i would like to work as doctor when i am finishing my degree. i want to know the exactly tense of the verb after when. i know that when we want to explain a plan in the future we should use present continuous but for above situation i am confused.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Janus Bahs Jacquet, choster, tchrist, Chenmunka Jul 2 '15 at 17:34

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  • Your first sentence is correct. The second one would imply that you will start working as a doctor before you finish your degree (i.e. during finishing it). – DRF Jul 2 '15 at 12:09
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    Two quibbles: use a capital letter for 'I' and add indef. article, 'work as a doctor. Not important: it's only polish. – Hugh Jul 2 '15 at 12:50
  • "I would like to work as a doctor" is only slightly unnatural. In order to work as a doctor one must be a doctor. I prefer this sentence: "I would like to be a doctor when I am finished with my degree." – scottb Jul 2 '15 at 14:46
  • @scottb assuming the degree is an MD, being a doctor is by definition assured; it doesn't make sense to say that, especially with the conditional. Being a doctor does not imply working as a doctor. – phoog Jul 2 '15 at 15:15

Perhaps if you rearrange the sentence it will become more clear to you.

When I finish my degree, I'd like to work as a doctor.


When I am finishing my degree, I'd like to work as a doctor.

They are both valid grammatically, but as you can perhaps see when ordered like this, the sentences mean two different things entirely.

The first means you'll wait until after you finish your degree to being working as a doctor, while the other implies you'd like to start working as a doctor before your degree is finished.

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