The passages below come from 'Cambridge English: Compact Advanced.'

a. The thunderstorm will have ended by the time our plane takes off.

b. The thunderstorm will be ending by the time our plane takes off.

It asks the difference in meaning between a and b.

Let me tell you my thought.

'a' more strongly suggests than 'b' the possibility of the end of the thunderstorm. 'b' suggests not the end of the thunderstorm but just a hopeful possibility (maybe since it has been in its force long enough).

What do you think of my thought?

  • First, what is your question? Second, please provide a link to the source you quote. Third, what research have you done on the two verb constructions? Please indicate that research in your question. – AmE speaker Aug 2 '17 at 11:17
  • The passages comes from "Cambridge English: Compact Advanced" as I wrote. And in the book the question is to tell the the difference in meaning between a and b. My research, or my thought was on the next to last sentence. – morti Aug 2 '17 at 13:45

'a’ does not suggest anything. It states a fact. The speaker might be mistaken and that has nothing to do with grammar.

Even 'b' does not suggest a possibility. 'b' also states a fact, in this case that something will be ending, ie will have started to end.

'b' is no more a suggestion or possibility than ‘a’.

Both are supposed facts, ‘a’ indicating an action completed at or before a time, 'b' indicating an action still in progress at that time.

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