Here's an article titled "NBN rolling out FttDP to 700,000 premises, replacing Optus HFC footprint":

The National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced that it will be replacing the Optus hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) footprint with its fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FttDP) network, with up to 700,000 premises to be covered by the new network technology.


DOCSIS 3.1 -- currently due to be launched in the second half of 2017 -- would enable HFC users to reach speeds of 1Gbps down/100Mbps up.


In terms of FttDP speeds, the VDSL box currently being used has the capability to deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps, but, once it is updated to a G.Fast box, has the capacity for 1Gbps.

In the last sentence, there are two main clauses connected with but, and the verb has of the second main clause is in the simple present tense and denotes a scheduled future event.

Is this use of has grammatical?

What if has is replaced with gets?

In terms of FttDP speeds, the VDSL box currently being used has the capability to deliver speeds of up to 500Mbps, but, once it is updated to a G.Fast box, gets the capacity for 1Gbps.

In another question "Very very confused! which verbs can be used in simple present tense for scheduled future events?", the only answer there says, "Almost any action verb can be used in the present tense for a scheduled future event."

Does this mean that stative verbs such as has in the above article cannot generally be used in the present tense for a scheduled future event when used in a main clause?

2 Answers 2


You seem to be distraught that the VDSL box, a currently used piece of hardware, once updated to a G.Fast Box, has a capacity of 1Gbps.

From the customer's point of view, this update and its resultant speed increase is a future event and could be announced:

After an update of the currently used VDSL box into a G.Fast Box, customers will enjoy a capacity of 1Gbps.

From the company's point of view, however, this is simply an established fact in the present tense. They tried it out in a lab somewhere. We've got this box, we do a firmware update and voilà, we've got 1Gbps capacity.

By the way, gets the capacity in your suggested revision sounds non-idiomatic: will get does not, because, as you noted, have is statal, but get can be a process.

  • So do you think that "has" in the original is grammatical and even idiomatic?
    – JK2
    Dec 30, 2017 at 16:38
  • 1
    Absolutely. The information about the equipment to be used is perfectly fine in the present tense.
    – KarlG
    Dec 30, 2017 at 18:07
  • Then, what about the answer to the earlier question "Almost any action verb can be used in the present tense for a scheduled future event"? Do you think that any verb, action or stative, can be used in the simple present tense for a scheduled future event?
    – JK2
    Dec 31, 2017 at 1:20
  • I didn't address that question because it is irrelevant. What you're talking about is a present tense verb, either simple or progressive, with a time expression, like: We're flying/we fly to Rome in three weeks. "After an update" establishes a sequence of events, but does not fix the event to a particular point in real time.
    – KarlG
    Dec 31, 2017 at 7:02

"will have" is clearer/better/more correct. "gets" is terrible. As is, the meaning is understandable, but not grammatically ideal according to my Western Canadian dialect. It would be fine to say that a G.Fast box has the capacity for 1Gbps (or perhaps "has a capacity of 1Gbps" would be better), but saying once X happens, Y applies, is not proper English IMHO, unless you are talking about general statements, like "When it rains, I (generally) use an umbrella". The sentence in question is not meant to be interpreted as a generic statement, hence the clash in grammar. In fact, I had to use "When it rains, in my example." Once doesn't seem to be very amenable to generic statements.

The examples in the other question you referenced are not generic statements, but they are also not qualified by a conditional statement, like your example is. You can say "I speak tomorrow at 3pm," but you can't say "If my paper is accepted I speak tomorrow at 3pm." At least, that sounds odd. The second clause is in the subjunctive mood, I believe, so it wants a modal (will). Simple present is not right.

Upon further consideration, it sounds like whoever wrote that might be trying to say that the VDSL box has (presently) a latent capacity for 1Gbps, but it cannot be realized until another component is upgraded? If that is the case then maybe there is some warrant for the present tense, but then it could be said more clearly.

  • My question is specifically about scheduled future events, as shown in the titles of my question and the cited earlier question as well as shown three times in my question itself. And the second clause of the last sentence of the article cited is clearly about a scheduled future event. Now, how come your answer doesn't address scheduled future events?
    – JK2
    Dec 30, 2017 at 9:26
  • It does. I talk about generic statements, conditionals, and subjunctives to explain how the sentence should be interpreted or can be interpreted based on different wording. If you want a simpler answer, then the answer to you main question is "No. Context and verb type matter." But can you even call a stative verb like "have" an event anyway? In the sense of "have an appointment", sure, but there "have" is more of a light verb. In the sense of "have a [property]", no, that is not an event and can't be scheduled.
    – Moss
    Dec 30, 2017 at 12:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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