Tense consistency

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Why is it correct to say "We will need to return this book to the library after we finish it" and not "we will need to return this book to the library after we will finish it"?

asked Dec 15 '13 at 14:14 Kathy E New member

1 answer


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Even though the book has not been finished yet, the sentence is describing events in time. Present tense is often used to describe future time events, such as 

The report is due tomorrow.

"after we finish it" is also a point in time, in the future. After that point in time, we take a future action: "we will return" it.

The sentence could be written with two future actions: 

We will finish it, then we will return it

It could be written with two points in time, and one future action:

After we finish it, but before we return it, we will have coffee.

Hope that helps!

link comment answered Dec 17 '13 at 07:56 palmer New member

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