present tense in clause referring to future action

-1

"I will talk to John when he arrives" sounds okay.

"I will talk to John when he will arrive" sounds wierd, but it a mistake universally made by native French speakers. How do I explain this to my French friends?

2 answers


1

The downvote for Sanjay is a bit unfair.

 

In English, the present tense is used to indicate events at any time in the future in a dependent clause. "When" -- when used as a conjunction -- introduces a dependent clause, so the present tense always follows "when". 

 

While this is true of English, it is not often true of other languages such as Spanish and French. Not being a linguist, I can't explain the "why" behind this difference.

link comment answered Jul 04 '12 at 15:55 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow
0

In my opinion, you must accept the correct sentence template and start using it without asking "why" 

 

When is always  followed by a present tense.  

For instance: I will call you when I have time.

                       I will tell you the secret when I meet you in person.

link edited Jul 04 '12 at 15:13 sanjay Expert

Reviewing the built in grammar in my head, that seems to make sense. I can provide that rule to my French colleagues. It is interesting that this is not true of other tenses of the main verb: I did not agree that Sanjay answered my question when he gives his incomplete rule. I would have agreed with Sanjay if he gives a more complete rule.

Kenneth BakalarJul 04 '12 at 17:24

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