0

I have a question concerning the sentence below; it describes a future expectation. Is the perfect form the only acceptable option, given the phrase 'by the end of...'? Thanks.

By the end of the second stage of preparation, invitations to a party should be sent/should have been sent.

1 Answer 1

0

The phrase By the end of the second stage of preparation, invitations to a party.... has no verb and thus no tense.

It could refer to a stage already reached in the past or a stage to be reached in the future.

If to the past, invitations should have been sent.

If to the future, invitations should be sent.

To tense the phrase you would have to rewrite it:

When the end of the second stage of preparation is/was/has been/had been reached.

2
  • [I believe the OP meant to post this as a comment here, but posted a new answer instead, which I've deleted, so please tag them in any reply] Thanks. Assuming we know from the context that the sentence refers to the future, does it make any difference to the modal verb construction if the phrase 'by the end of the second stage of preparation' is (un)tensed? In one grammar book I found this sentence: The builders should have finished by the end of next week. Why is it possible to use the perfect form here and impossible to do the same in my sentence?
    – gotube
    Mar 28, 2022 at 2:50
  • It is perfectly possible to use the perfect form in your sentence (should have been sent) IF you are referring to the past and the invitations were not sent. But the sentence requires should be sent if you are referring to the future. Mar 28, 2022 at 9:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .