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If they’re following their schedule, they will have arrived yesterday.

Yesterday? But yesterday is not a part of the future? I'm confused now.

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This is a confusing sentence, but I would interpret the "will" here as meaning "must" rather than literally referring to the future. "They must have arrived yesterday."

  • Do you think the sentence is controversial? I don't find it grammatical. – Relative Clauses vs Participle Jun 17 at 6:59
  • No, it seems pretty natural. In fact, I'm not sure how else you would express it without subtly changing the connotation. Written this way, it sounds like you are very confident they did arrive yesterday, based on the schedule. – Ethan B. Jun 18 at 12:40
  • To elaborate, it's a confusing sentence when you try to think of how it works grammatically (at least for me, not being trained in English language education), but it doesn't sound that weird. – Ethan B. Jun 18 at 12:42
  • Are you saying the sentence might not be grammatical? – Relative Clauses vs Participle Jun 18 at 15:34
  • No, it's grammatical, it's just advanced. See the link SunnySideDown commented on your question - it's a good explanation. – Ethan B. Jun 18 at 16:53

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