7

I've just passed one of numerous English grammar online tests. And I agree with all the mistakes I've made except this one:

You ______ put it back before the boss comes back, won't you?

  1. will have
  2. won't have
  3. will
  4. have

The system has marked my answer 3 as incorrect, and 1 as correct.

And I'm still confused about it, the phrase with 1 makes no sense for me.

So — is 1 really the correct answer? If so — why is it, and not 3?

  • 2
    You are correct — 3 is the right answer. – user16269 Jul 2 '12 at 23:50
  • @David Wallace: great, thanks! PS: hi from welly )) PPS: could you please put it as an answer – zerkms Jul 2 '12 at 23:55
  • I couldn't possibly. – user16269 Jul 3 '12 at 0:21
6

Strictly speaking all the first three could be considered "valid" (although #2 would be a somewhat contrived context, and would require the final "tag question" to be reversed into "..., will you?").

So I'd say this "online grammar test" is very poor quality, purely on the grounds that there's no single correct answer. All we can say for sure is #4 is a no-hoper.

But let's face it — any half-alert native speaker wouldn't come out with that clumsy repetition of "back" either. If it makes OP feel any better, #3 is actually closest to the more natural phrasing...

You will [make sure you] put it back before the boss returns, won't you?


For what it's worth, there is a difference in some contexts (not this one) between using future perfect (will have done) and simple future (will do)...

When I leave the office I will enjoy/will have enjoyed a few hours of leisurely relaxation.

  • Assuming #1 (will have) could be a valid answer - shouldn't the tag part be changed to "won't you have" then? – zerkms Jul 3 '12 at 0:03
  • 1
    @zerkms: Definitely not – Armen Ծիրունյան Jul 3 '12 at 0:15
  • @zerkms: Certainly, yes. – user16269 Jul 3 '12 at 0:22
  • @FumbleFingers- I think only will is possible. Putting the other two could make the tag question part somewhat unorthodox, right? – Noah Jul 3 '12 at 0:39
  • @Noah: You're right re #2 - the "tag question" would need to be reversed into "will you?". I'll edit to reflect that. – FumbleFingers Jul 3 '12 at 0:43

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