My question is about this one sentence which has been driving me crazy. I found a discussion on here about present perfect in a first consditional sentences. "If I've...., I'll be able to, etc.." But my sentence starts with not an "If", but with "When" it goes: "When I've saved another 1000 Euros, I'll be able to buy a car."

I don't understand how exactly the two tenses here are connected and why can't we say "When (or once) I save another 1000 Euros, I'll be able to buy a car"?

  • On the day you are able to afford the car, you will be able to say "I have saved that 1000 Euros". Mar 11 at 17:40
  • Thank you Kate. But could you tell me what tense(s) are these together? I'm a beginner English turor and I need to explain it to a student. Mar 11 at 18:08
  • When referring to the future is the same as if; the future is always conditional. As to tenses, all the verbs in that sentence are present tense. Have is present tense, and so is I'll, short for I will. Will is not the future tense, but rather a modal auxiliary, and therefore doesn't have a past, participle, or infinitive form, only an uninflectable present. Have saved is a perfect construction (perfect is not a tense but a construction; the tense goes on have, which is present tense) in the present tense, so it can be called present perfect. Mar 11 at 19:03
  • As for "first conditional", that's something local that some English teachers talk about, but linguists never do. There is no standard numbering, and no limitation to conditionals. The Nth Conditional just means some teacher somewhere put together N easy cases where the meanings can be explained. That doesn't mean there are only N of them, however. And the numbers never match from different countries. So if you're puzzled, join the club. Mar 11 at 19:05
  • Thank you John! Mar 12 at 10:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.