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Which would be more suitable for a teacher to say to their students?

A) Please raise your hand when you finish your test. I'll go check on it.

B) Please raise your hand when you have finished your test. I'll go check on it.

Is there any difference between "when sb does sth" and "when sb has done sth" when you talk about the near future?

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  • I would be more likely to understand the first to mean "as soon as you have finished", as if there was a race to finish the test first. The second sounds more relaxed, as though I would have time to check my answers before raising my hand.
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 2:10

1 Answer 1

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In the United States, A is more common, though B is fine, too (and it's highly customary and recommended to contract "you have" to "you've" in spoken English).

As for the general difference between the two forms, "when somebody has done something" suggests that the action must be complete for the condition to be true, whereas "when somebody does something" suggests that the action need only have started. For example, "I'll tell you about it when you eat dinner" suggests that I'll give you information after you've started (and presumably during) your dinner, while "... when you've eaten dinner" suggests that the information will be withheld until after dinner.

In your example, however, finishing a test occurs in a single moment, so there's no difference between the two forms.

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