I have a problem understanding the difference between these sentences. Before new chapter in my English book I was kind of ok with all three sentences, but now I'm having trouble understanding them and if any is incorrect too.

Three sentences are:

  • a/ It will be delivered after it is inspected.
  • b/ It will be delivered after it was inspected.
  • c/ It will be delivered after it will be inspected.

Could you tell me if there is any difference between them and what that is?

  1. I feel that a/ and c/ are very similar in meaning and both correct but I b/ feels kinda wrong/weird to me but I don't know why or if that is actually true.

  2. What is the difference between a/ and c/ (and b/)? Thank you very much for help.

  • As a native speaker, sentence (a) is the only one that seems correct to me.
    – D. Nelson
    Jan 19, 2017 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Connective prepositions before, after, when, while, as soon as, etc. may be added to a clause to express that a second activity occurs earlier than, later than or at the same time as the activity in the main clause.

If the verb in the main clause is present tense, the verb in clause following the preposition is also present.

After we finish our homework, we go for a walk. (later then, as we usually do)

Connective prepositions may also be added to a clause with a future tense verb expression such as will or (be) going to. In this case, the verb in the clause following the connective preposition does not change tense. It remains in present tense form.

After we finish our homework, we'll go for a walk. (later then, today)

So, the correct choice will be

It will be delivered after it is inspected. (first it will be inspected then delivered)

The difference between variants A, B, and C is that only variant A is grammatically correct.

  • Indeed, the correct choice is that. :)
    – Lambie
    Jan 19, 2017 at 16:55
  • Thank you. So although both actions happen in the future because of use of 'after' I have to say it in present tense. Does the same apply if I say it in reverse order? For example: 'It will be inspected and then delivered' or can I say 'It will be inspected and then it will be delivered'?
    – Vico Lemp
    Jan 19, 2017 at 17:29
  • @VicoLemp - Absolutely. In that case a comma is needed: After it is inspected, it will be delivered. As for the two examples, either will work.
    – Victor B.
    Jan 19, 2017 at 17:42

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