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I'm working on:

Raymond Murphy - English Grammar in Use - English Grammar in Use Fifth Edition

In this exercise, I have to choose the correct answer(s):

Andy goes to work every day. He leaves home at 8 o'clock and arrives at work at about 8.45. He starts work immediately and continues until 12.30 when he has lunch (which takes about half an hour). He starts work again at 1.15 and goes home at exactly 4.30. Every day he follows the same routine and tomorrow will be no exception.

At 8.15

  • a he'll be leaving the house

  • b he'll have left the house

  • c he'll have arrived at work

  • d he'll be arriving at work

I chose d as a correct option, since Andy is in the process of arriving at work. Why is the use of future perfect not correct here ?

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  • will have left is future perfect//will be arriving is future progressive.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2023 at 18:41
  • Thank you, @Lambie. I did a mistake there.
    – F. Zer
    Oct 23, 2023 at 22:53
  • OK, we say make a mistake, not do a mistake. Cheers.
    – Lambie
    Oct 24, 2023 at 0:14
  • I made a mistake saying "I did a mistake" :)
    – F. Zer
    Oct 24, 2023 at 11:40
  • 1
    Very well said! :)
    – Lambie
    Oct 24, 2023 at 15:59

4 Answers 4

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The 'process of arriving somewhere' doesn't really exist. You arrive somewhere at the end of the journey. It is usually a single very short event that occupies a moment, at a particular time (not during a period). In the informative piece you are told this time is about 8.45. That is when he will be arriving at work. Perhaps you are thinking of the process of going somewhere? The only correct answer is (b).

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  • Thank you for your answer. If I am told that this time is about 8.44, could the answer which uses future progressive be correct ?
    – F. Zer
    Oct 19, 2023 at 19:51
  • @F.Zer - You could conceivably say that 'arriving at work' consists of driving into the car park, parking your car, crossing the car park, entering the building, walking up the stairs, going in your office, sitting at your desk. That is somewhat terribly contrived and sounds designed to fit an unusual usage. Oct 19, 2023 at 20:14
  • Thank you for the input
    – F. Zer
    Oct 20, 2023 at 18:39
  • At 8:15 he is definitely not arriving at work.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2023 at 17:27
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It’s not that the future progressive is wrong, but that arriving is the wrong notion. (Note that it’s answer c that’s in the future perfect.)

Other sentences that would be correct include “He’ll be in transit,” “He’ll be en route,” and “He’ll be on his commute.” And, to use the future progressive, “He’ll be commuting.” Also, any of these could have “to work” appended. All of these describe an entire phase of his day, not a discrete moment like his arrival.

Even when, on a commercial flight, the flight attendant says, “We’re arriving in New York,” though that’s not an instant, it is, relatively speaking, very brief: the last minute or two out of an hours-long flight.

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  • A certain number of Brits get annoyed when railway staff say over the loudspeakers in trains e.g. 'We will shortly be arriving into London Waterloo'. I notice it, but it doesn't really annoy me. Oct 17, 2023 at 11:33
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    Or "He'll be travelling to work" (only 1/3 of the way, so nowhere near 'arriving'). Oct 17, 2023 at 11:50
  • At 8:15 am, he will have left home.
    – Lambie
    Oct 22, 2023 at 18:40
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"Arriving" is a transitional state and it does not have an exact beginning or duration. However, it occurs at the end of the journey, and the end is relative to the length and nature of the journey, and is also somewhat subjective.

When a train is slowing down and is moments away from putting on its brakes as it approaches a station, we could say that it is about to arrive at the station and when it begins to enter the station it is arriving and when it comes to a stop on the platform, it has arrived.

An airplane that is well into its descent before landing could be said to be arriving at its destination. Some people might say that the landing gear needs to be down. Once it has landed, it has arrived.

On a cross-country car trip from San Francisco to New York, you might say you are arriving at New York when you can see the buildings in the distance on the skyline.

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The only thing that can be said accurately about what is going on after 8:15 am and before 8:45 am in the paragraph below:

Andy goes to work every day. He leaves home at 8 o'clock and arrives at work at about 8.45. He starts work immediately and continues until 12.30 when he has lunch (which takes about half an hour). He starts work again at 1.15 and goes home at exactly 4.30. Every day he follows the same routine and tomorrow will be no exception.

is: At 8:15 am, he will have left for work.

He is clearly not arriving at work at that time. The paragraph does not say that.

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  • Thank you for your input
    – F. Zer
    Oct 23, 2023 at 22:54

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