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Table of contents Chapter 21 21.4.4 Possible tenses after cuando and si

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Chapter 21: Future tenses

  21.4.4 Possible tenses after cuando and si

When forming a sentence with cuando and pointing at a coming point of time the Spanish uses subjuntivo. Here the pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo is one of the possibilities. Future tenses cannot be used after cuando! In the main clause (not the one with cuando) future tenses can be put.

  Example
Cuando hayas hablado con él, sabrás más.
= When you have talked to him, you will know more.
Cuando lo hayamos leído, conoceremos el contenido.
= When we have read it, we will know the content.

When constructing conditional clauses there are three possibilities of tenses to be used presente, pretérito imperfecto de subjuntivo or pretérito plusquamperfecto de subjuntivo (see chapter 9). Even if Google again brings hits for si + pretérito perfecto de subjuntivo (si hayas instalado/pagado/estudiado etc...) it is grammatically incorrect.

Summary:
After cuando subjuntivo is used even if you want to phrase something about a point of time in the future.
After si there are the three possibilities, one of them is presente de indicativo.

In neither of the cases (direct after cuando nor after si) future tenses are used!

  For comparison

Cuando le hayas dado dinero, se emborrachará.
= When you have given him money, he will get drunk.
meaning:
He will be given money and then the person is going to get drunk. It is a fact without a condition.

Si le das dinero, se emborracha.
= If you give him money, he gets drunk.
meaning:
If (and only if) you give him money, he gets drunk. There is a condition to this fact.


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