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I would like to ask this question:

Is it correct to say "until someone can (do something)"? I understand that the common form is "until someone (does something)". E.g. "there is nothing I can do until someone can come here" or "there is nothing I can do until someone comes here".

Also, is "until someone will (do something)" acceptable? i.e. is it acceptable to use modals with until?

Thank you in advance. English is my second language, so I often make the mistake of using unidiomatic expressions.

  • You could say "until someone can come" if the person being waited for is likely to be busy helping someone else at the moment, e.g. ambulance crew or emergency plumber. "Until someone will..." sounds odd, though. – Kate Bunting Oct 29 '17 at 9:01
  • You can say 'There is nothing I can do until someone does something'. – Nigel J Oct 29 '17 at 15:31
  • It may be grammatical, but it doesn't seem like it makes sense most of the time. It's unlikely that one action is dependent on a possibility rather than something actually occurring. – Barmar Oct 31 '17 at 16:03
  • However, you could say "I can't get a driver's license until I can read", but it's more common to phrase it more actively, like "I can't get a driver's license until I learn to read." – Barmar Oct 31 '17 at 16:04
  • I think "can" is more often used with "unless": "You can't get a driver's license unless you can read." – Barmar Oct 31 '17 at 16:05

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