# Can we use time clauses with present perfect continuous

1. I will do it you when you come

2. I will do it when you are coming

3. I will do it when you have come

1 means after or during my coming. 2 means during my coming. 3 means after my coming.

What if I say "I will do it when you have been coming"?. Is it the same as 1 or 2 or maybe 3 or it is just wrong?

• In this context when you come normally means when you arrive. (1) and (3) usually mean the same. (2) could mean when you are planning to come (as in this song). Your last example is simply not something anyone would ever need to say. Commented Jul 6 at 15:38
• @KateBunting let's transform my last example to "Everything will be wet when it has been raining". Is then present perfect continuous okay? Commented Jul 6 at 15:47
• Yes, it's fine (no pun intended!). Commented Jul 6 at 15:53
• @KateBunting when it comes to my example "Everything will be wet when it has been raining". I am pretty sure that I could change "when" to " once" or "as soon as" and the meaning remains the same. I also feel that using "while" there instead of "when" would be wrong but I don't know why. Can you say if I'm right and why? Commented Jul 6 at 16:03
• Well, yes - except that once and as soon as both imply that 'everything being wet' is a desirable state that you are waiting for. Which I suppose could be the case if there has been a drought! While makes no sense here because it has been raining implies that the rain is over. I suppose your next question will be "What if I say while it has been raining for an hour?" Answer: in that case you would simply say while it is raining. Commented Jul 6 at 16:57

The small problem is that come can refer to being en-route ("Don't worry, I'm coming and wil be there on time") and "when" wants a point-in-time, some kind of temporal anchor or temporal terra firma.

when you arrive would be better, or "when you get here".

I will unlock the gate when you get here.

I will let you in when you arrive.

But come does also have the meaning "arrive" though in American Engish it is a meaning that is fading somewhat:

She'll be driving six white horses when she comes.

However, comes lacks the sense of 100% completion that "gets here" has; it means "is approaching".