In real life it happens that the cause happens later than the result. Would the grammar be up to the cause-result sequence or up to the time sequence? How should I form the first conditional?

I finish my jogging at 8, before the rain will start.
I will finish my jogging at 8, before the rain starts.

Which is correct?

There was a similar question (Mixed conditional and sequence of events) here, but it is not about Conditional 1, and the answer there bases on feelings instead of explanations, and is not helpful a bit.

  • 3
    You need to add a little detail before the question can be answered. First, neither of options 1 or 2 is a conditional sentence. Both are temporal. Second, as you state option 1, it is not clear whether it is intended to state or whether the two options are meant to be alternative version of the same proposition. It would be helpful to edit your question to make this clear. I guess you mean them to be alternative ways to say the same thing, and that they are about a specific intention to run rather than a general statement of a regular practice. Is that so?
    – Tuffy
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 7:06
  • Ah, I see that Mari-Lou A has already edited it.
    – Tuffy
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 7:07
  • @Tuffy I tried to change the examples. If it is more understandable? If the name of the grammar construction is different, could you edit it, please?
    – Gangnus
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 7:27
  • @Mari-LouA Your example has nothing in common with the sentences in the example. I have problems with them, not with your example. Your example has cause before result, not vice versa.
    – Gangnus
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 7:40
  • 1
    In general you don't use 'will' after subordinate time conjunctions (e.g conjunctions starting with if, when, before, until, as soon as) so your second answer is right. There may be some situation where the first sentence would apply but it would be unusual and whatever I think of now would be contrived.
    – S Conroy
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


Both sentences are possible, but they suggest somewhat different things.

I finish my jog at 8, before the rain will start.

(Note: I've corrected "my jogging" to "my jog". Alternatively, you could say "finish jogging", without the my, though that doesn't work quite as well IMHO.)

This could work in a science-fiction novel that's narrated in the present tense: science fiction in that it implies exact foreknowledge of the time that the rain will start (perhaps the rain is scheduled by a weather-control system?), present-tense narration as opposed to the more usual past-tense narration ("I finished my jog at 8, before the rain started"). Even in such a context, it would be more usual to write "I finish my jog at 8, before the rain starts" — we don't usually use will in adverbials of time — but I think "will start" is OK to highlight the sci-fi nature of the foreknowledge.

I will finish my jog at 8, before the rain starts.

This still suggests a science-fictional foreknowledge of the rain, but less strongly; I could actually imagine someone saying something like this in a real-life conversation, if they trust the weather report enough. ("Wait, you're going for a jog? Isn't it expected to rain soon?" "Don't worry, I'll be back before the rain starts.")

Edited to add: Incidentally, your question refers to "the First Conditional" and "Conditional 1", but your sentence is not actually using a conditional construction at all. (That said, I don't think there's a true difference between the grammar of first conditionals as in "I'll come back if it rains" and that of adverbials of time as in "I'll come back when it rains" or "I'll come back before it rains." In fact, we can even say things like "I'll come back if and when it rains.")

  • I do know people who plan their day around weather reports, so i recognised the second construct.
    – WendyG
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 17:14
  • 1. If you don't like rain, we can use darkness. You can be sure about that. 2. So, the second variant is correct and the cause is more important than time. That is what I wanted to know. Excellent. +1. But do you have any reference? Or an example from literature, please?
    – Gangnus
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 21:11
  • @Gangnus: The exact clause "I'll be back before it gets dark" is well attested.
    – ruakh
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 21:53
  • Thank you very much, maybe it will be better to include the reference into the answer, according to the rules. It is of no need for me already (and I cannot give you another upvote), but there will be other readers...
    – Gangnus
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 5:00
  • As for me, it looks like exactly as Conditional 1 construction.
    – Gangnus
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 5:02

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