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when, once and as soon as + present prefect and simple present of a verb Options
robjen
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 3:21:13 AM
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I am wondering if I can use either the simple present and the present perfect for the conjunctions once, when and as soon as. For example,

(1a) As soon as I save enough money, I will travel around the world.
(1b) As soon as I have saved enough money, I will travel around the world.

(2a) Once you learn how to balance on ice properly, you can skate easily.
(2b) Once you have learned how to balance on ice properly, you can skate easily.

(3a) When they finish the meal, I will wash up and make coffee for them.
(3b) When they have finished the meal, I will wash up and make coffee for them.

Is it grammatically correct to use either tense in my examples? Thanks.
Audiendus
Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:56:34 PM
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They all look OK except (1a). Saving is a gradual process, so the present perfect is needed to show that you have completed the process.

(3b) is slightly better than (3a), as it will take the speaker a little time to finish washing up and start making the coffee.
palapaguy
Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:57:01 PM

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Audiendus wrote:
They all look OK except (1a). Saving is a gradual process, so the present perfect is needed to show that you have completed the process.

(3b) is slightly better than (3a), as it will take the speaker a little time to finish washing up and start making the coffee.


From my AE perspective I'm unable to see anything lacking with 1a. Saving is a gradual process in any case. 1a and 1b both deal only with the time period starting when the saving process has been completed.

As to 3a and 3b, both deal with what happens after the meal is finished (or has been finished). I see no distinction.
tunaafi
Posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:11:38 AM

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I, a speaker of BrE, see nothing wrong with 1a.
Audiendus
Posted: Thursday, May 18, 2017 7:29:47 AM
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Location: London, England, United Kingdom
OK, I withdraw my comment. But "As soon as I've saved enough money..." is the way I would say it.
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