I was watching The Originals, episode 1 of season 1. There is a sentence that says:

"Her spirit can't rest until it's been properly interred in the cemetery."

I can't understand the grammar of this part. Would you please explain why she used "has been" here?

  • spirits are not buried. Bodies are.
    – Lambie
    Aug 29, 2022 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


Subordinate clauses headed by words like "when" or "until" give the time when an action occurs. Although they specify a future time, they are written from the point of view of that future time, so use present tenses.

I will go to the shops when dad comes home.

In the case of "until" the meaning is "at any time until" and so a perfect tense is natural

I won't go to the shops until dad has come home.

It means that until dad has completed the "coming home" I will not go to the shops.

Likewise, in your example, until her body has been properly buried in the ground at the cemetery, her spirit will not rest (and so her ghost will be angry). Her spirit will relax (and go to heaven etc) when she is interred.

  • Thanks for your complete explanation.
    – Mina
    Aug 30, 2022 at 4:27

You must log in to answer this question.

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