Suppose there is a situation that can be expressed in two sentences:

They will have come by the time the bell rings. I will have finished before that.

Is it possible (grammatically correct) to put it in one sentence like this:

I will had finished here before they have come back by the time the bell rings.

If yes than what the tense is it?

  • They will come here by the time the bell rings, I will have finished before that. I guess.. I am really second guessing myself here.
    – Jioden
    Oct 19, 2016 at 11:39
  • H-m-m... but that is likely the same two sentences but with the comma instead of the point :) Oct 19, 2016 at 12:32
  • There's some ambiguity here, which is actually difficult to resolve however you express it in English. Will you have finished before they come back, or before the bell rings?
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 19, 2016 at 12:47
  • Exactly! If i formulate the situation in two sentences. But it's quite clear in one because had + V3 points on precedence to have + V3. Oct 19, 2016 at 13:02
  • 1
    An interesting fact: in English, there can be only one finite (tensed) verb in a non-coordinate finite verb group. To borrow an example from Wikipedia, He was believed to have been told to have himself examined. Only was is finite. Oct 19, 2016 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


There is no such a tense in english. An alternative way of expressing what is intended by your expressions could be ''I will have finished the job (task, homerwork etc) by the time they come this midnight''

  • That's right. But I've slightly changed my initial question to indicate that final time can be expressed by an action which may play a role in forming tenses of other clauses. Does it change something?
    – Markus Marvell
    Oct 19, 2016 at 11:00
  • 2
    I reckon you are trying to adapt and project the precendence relationship between past perfect tense and simple past tense to the future tense. The same kind of precendence does not exist in current grammer in the future tense. Sure one can try to build a new future tense structure and try to impose it into daily usage and of course the acceptance would hinge upon whether any vacancy exists in that realm. My new suggestion would be ''I will have finished here by the time the bell rings as they will have come back'' Thus the adverbial conflict between ''before'' and ''by'' would be prevented.
    – Ufuk Akpinar
    Oct 19, 2016 at 12:05
  • 1
    Precendence?? What's that?
    – Lambie
    Oct 19, 2016 at 12:48

I must admit that Future Past Perfect constraint in question is grammatically incorrect hence impossible. The point is will can not be followed by verb in past tense. E.g. will had. So Future can not be combined with Past Perfect.


They will have come by the time the bell rings. I will have finished before that.

How to structure a single sentence the previous two sentences.

Corrected sentence: I **will have finished before they come and the bell rings.

will have finished = Future Prefect, the second (adverbial) clause is in the present.

Please note: before, after, when do not take WILL when followed by a verb. The first clause is future or future perfect, the second is just present tense.

  • Yes, you're right about will after before... I'll correct my question. As to your variant, it contains an uncertainty as for the sequence of events if it's important. I finish > They come > Bell rings. Oct 19, 2016 at 13:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .