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I'd like to state a general fact. What tense should I use for the main clause and for the by-the-time-clause?

Generally speaking, most of them have had sex by the time they reach the eleventh grade.

Generally speaking, most of them had had sex by the time they reached the eleventh grade.

Generally speaking, most of them will have had sex by the time they reach the eleventh grade.

I think the first sentence is a present fact, the second is a past fact, and the third is a future fact.

I'd like to indicate this is a permanent fact, not about the past, nor the future. So I start with "generally speaking". But I'm afraid the first sentence is ungrammatical, because I think if I use the present tense for the by-the-time-clause, I should use the future tense for the main clause.


Here is another example:

Every day, by the time we get home from school, mom has prepared the dinner.

Is it correct?

1 Answer 1

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The first version is fine as a general statement about young people.

The second is appropriate only when talking about a particular group studied for research purposes in the past.

The third is a prediction.

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