English Grammar

May I have more explanation ?

In my last lesson, un error, but I don't undestand why .

"Polly came will come back to work only after Bruno apologizes for yelling at her. Kevin has already proposed candidates for her replacement, though nobody in the office is taking him seriously. "
" came: We cannot use the preterit form of the verb 'to come' in this sentence"

Thanks a lot for your answer.


  • i mean, i wrote "came" instead of "will come"
  • Hi Gwendy,

    "Bruno apologizes" is in the present tense. An action that comes after this will be in the future tense - it can't be in the past!

    Does that make sense?
  • Perhaps, but not so obvious for me.
  • Oh my! Gwendy, to make it obvious have a glance at this one:
    Polly came back to work only after Bruno apologized for yelling at her. That happened in the past.
    In the GG sentence, Polly hasn't come back yet as she is waiting for Bruno to apolosize.
  • Bruno first has to apologize (that's the condition) and then Polly will come back.
  • It should be quite simple, as some guys have already pointed it out.

    The key is that the future is supposed to be used because we are waiting for something to happen, that is, Polly's return to the office. That is something that will or will not happen it he future, based on a condition. The condition is Bruno apologizing.

    One can simply recognize a patttern in this sentence, it's the first form of the if-clauses:

    [b] If (the condition in present tense) [then] (the action in future tense).
    e.g. "If it rains I will stay at home." [/b]

    If we rephrase the original sentence [i]"Polly came will come back to work only after Bruno apologizes for yelling at her". [/i] without changing the meaning, we will see immediately that it's in fact a conditional clause (if-clause) we're dealing with here:

    [b]"If Bruno apologizes Polly will come back to work." [/b]

    I hope this helps. It has helped me, so I assume it may also help others.

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