future tense

Discussion in 'English Only' started by VikNikSor, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. VikNikSor

    VikNikSor Senior Member

    Russian
    4. We (hide) when Tony (arrive) at his surprise party. As soon as he opens the door, we (jump) out and (scream) , "Surprise!"
    a Verb Tense Exercise

    The correct answer:
    We will be hiding when Tony arrives at his surprise party. As soon as he opens the door, we are going to jump out and scream, "Surprise!"
    Am I right that it implies that they are only about to jump and scream "Surprise!" but still don't jump and scream.
    Otherwise it'd be:
    As soon as he opens the door, we will jump out and scream, "Surprise!"
    or
    As soon as he opens the door, we jump out and scream, "Surprise!"
    Thank you.
     
  2. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    It's talking about the future, so I don't understand why you think "are going to jump out and scream" means they "still don't jump and scream." The sentence is simply stating the speaker's intention. So do ""we will jump out" and "we jump out." All of them do pretty much the same thing.
     
  3. VikNikSor

    VikNikSor Senior Member

    Russian
    But "we will jump out" and "we jump out." describe an action, while "are going to jump out" an intention only. Am I wrong?
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  4. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    In theory, maybe, but in practice, since they are all talking about the future (even "we jump out"), they all indicate an intention. It's possible to use the extra words in "are going to" to indicate some hesitation, I guess - but because all are in the future tense, how can they describe an "action"? It hasn't happened yet, so it's still an intention. Even "We will definitely jump out or else die trying" is still stating an intention.

    Or am I misunderstanding you?
     
  5. VikNikSor

    VikNikSor Senior Member

    Russian
    I'm afraid - yes:).
    I meant the 'intention' at the moment when Tony opens the door, not that at the moment of the talk.
     
  6. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    This is probably the most misunderstood difference taught to learners of English. It is NOT a rule - it is a useful guideline. Native speakers very frequently will choose one over the other without paying any attention to whether what they describe about the future is organized or intended or just inevitable. "We are going to go to Germany". That is just as definitive about the future, from the speaker's viewpoint, as "We will go to Germany". The differences concerning prior planning, organization and the timing of the decision, relative to the time of uttering the sentence are nuances many of which will be enhanced by the context.
    "When he comes in, we are going to jump out." does not mean "When he comes in, we will be ready to jump put".
     
  7. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    As a follow-up to this misunderstanding, I found a good description that is not dogmatic! Here is a quote from MyEnglishTeacher.com

    (My emphasis.

    Note the "more than the other" rather than "Correct/incorrect".
     
  8. VikNikSor

    VikNikSor Senior Member

    Russian
    - yes, that's what I meant.:D

    Ok, as I understand now, "we are going to jump out" points to the intention at the moment of the talk.
    So
    A. As soon as he opens the door, we will jump out and scream, "Surprise!"
    B. As soon as he opens the door, we are going to jump out and scream, "Surprise!"

    In "A" "will jump"correlates with the verb "opens". In other words, we can say: he will open the door and we will jump out and scream, "Surprise!"
    In "B" "are going to jump" points to what we have decided to do before this talk, while "opens" is still a supposed action in the future (like "will jump" in "A")
    (of course, the action "will jump" in "A" has also been planned before this talk, though.)
    Am I right?
     
  9. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    As a native, I get confused trying to understand the distinctions learners try to explain about what they have been taught.

    John and his friends have planned a surprise party for Bill in the future some time.
    John explains a plan to his friends. His friends may or may not have been part of the planning process.
    He could say either A or B of your sentences.
     
  10. VikNikSor

    VikNikSor Senior Member

    Russian
    The point is that the sentence in the quote looks like a small narrative. That's why I want to use will. Something like:
    John: Well, guys, I'm going to surprise Tony. So, listen to what I've come up with: We will be hiding when Tony arrives at his surprise party. As soon as he opens the door, we will jump out and scream, "Surprise!"
    Ok:)
    Thanks, all!
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  11. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    The guidance has given you a good grip on the narrative. I would also probably use the choices you have made - as in post 7, in some cases one form is used more than the other.
     

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