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  1. He will have waited there until the lights went out.

  2. He will have waited there until the lights have all gone out.

  3. He will have waited there until the lights goes out.

Are those sentences possible? Are there any differences in meaning?

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    Contrary to Ronald Sole's answer below, I'm actually OK with the second one and think that it's the most appropriate to convey just how long the person has been waiting (that even "all the lights have gone out"). That is, in this context, I would choose number two as the statement with the most emphasis on "waiting." – Teacher KSHuang Apr 18 '17 at 8:11
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    Meanwhile, number one is wrong and number three is OK as long as you change it to "go" since you have a plural subject, "lights," but again, it wouldn't be my preferred choice. – Teacher KSHuang Apr 18 '17 at 8:16
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    @TeacherKSHuang -- Your comments would make a good answer. – Jasper Apr 7 at 3:25
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Take your statements in two parts.

The first part of each is about the expected behaviour in the past of a person who was waiting until lights went out. At the time of speaking, the lights have gone out and the person is presumably no longer waiting.

So the first statement is correct:

He will (or would) have waited there until the lights went out.

The second statement confuses tenses. Using the present perfect indicates that the lights have not yet all gone out. The action is not completed. But the sense of the statement is that the lights have indeed gone out. So it's wrong.

If he is still waiting there and some lights are still on, you would have to say:

He will be waiting there until all the lights have all gone out.

The third statement is also wrong. Lights is plural and thus would go out, not goes out. So the way to write this is:

He will be waiting there until all the lights go out.

Which means very much the same as until all the lights have gone out.

  • So what is the difference between he will have waited until the lights went out and he would have waited until the lights went out. The second one takes place in the past would have waited and went but the first one takes place in the present will have waited and went is past simple , is it possible – user5577 Apr 18 '17 at 5:23
  • @user5577 The two tenses are frequently used interchangeably by English speakers. I would prefer: He will have waited..... as a simple statement of assumed fact; but I'd prefer He would have waited..... if it were followed by a conditional clause such as: He would have waited until the lights went out unless he got a taxi. In both cases he is no longer waiting, the events concerned have already taken place. For more on will/would, see: english.stackexchange.com/questions/3657/… – Ronald Sole Apr 18 '17 at 15:22
  • What do you think about teacher KSHUANG's answer, he said that both sentences He will have waited there until the lights have all gone out.and He will have waited there until the lights go out. are possible – user5577 Apr 18 '17 at 16:27
  • @user5577 I respectfully disagree. If He will have waited there... he is no longer waiting there so I don't think that one can talk about how long he HAS been waiting as it implies that he is still waiting. For me, it's a case of how long he HAD been waiting. – Ronald Sole Apr 18 '17 at 16:57

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