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  1. If you go to his house after half an hour, you will see (that) he is swimming in the swimming pool.

  2. If you go to his house after half an hour, you will see (that) he will be swimming in the swimming pool.

Which one is correct? Generally, Does the tense of the main verb (will see) decide which tense (is/will swimming) is used in a "that-clause"?

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  • 3
    For the person seeing it, the swimming will be happening in the present. Oct 29, 2020 at 21:25
  • You mean (1) is correct, right?
    – Mr. X
    Oct 29, 2020 at 21:53
  • ...You will see that he will be swimming...sounds a little odd to me. I think, ..., you will see that he is swimming... sounds fine. I may be wrong.
    – Ram Pillai
    Oct 30, 2020 at 6:48
  • 1
    Yes, I meant that (1) is correct, and gave the reason why. Oct 30, 2020 at 8:32

2 Answers 2

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I believe that the 'is swimming' is correct and the 'will be swimming' is incorrect because in the second example sentence, the will would be repetitive.

It would also be incorrect logically because you cannot see that he will do something. You can only see him if he is currently doing something. So option 1 is correct. As to your second question, which is used after a that-clause, I would again say that is/ (in some cases, are) would be correct and not will. For example, the following two sentences:

  1. If you eat chicken in an hour, you will find that you are full.
  2. If you eat chicken in an hour, you will find that you will be full.

The first one is correct because you are full after you eat the chicken, and not at an indefinite point in the future, which is unspecified, and therefore incorrect.

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The tense in a that clause is irrelevant to the tense in the main clause:

  1. If you go to his house, you will see (that) he will not be able to speak.

  2. If you go to his house, you will see (that) he is not able to speak. meal.

  3. If you go to his house, you will see (that) he has not been able to speak.

  4. If you go to his house, you will see (that) he was not been able to speak.

  5. If you go to his house, you will see (that) he had not been able to speak.

The context will determine which tense appears in the "that clause".

Wizard: "I have put a curse on him. He will be dumb if you are with him!

A: "I don't believe you!"

Wizard: "If you go to his house now, you will see (that) he will not be able to speak [whilst you are there]."

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