By the end of next July, he will graduate/may have graduated


Senior Member
By the end of next July, he ------- from university and ------- working for his father's company.

A) will graduate/start
B) might graduate/starts
C) will be graduated/will start
D) may have graduated/started
E) could graduate/can start

To me D works well. I wonder whether A works just as well. Thanks
  • ditnn

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think A does not work (it does not sound natural to me at all).

    if you want A to work, the sentence should instead begin with: At the end of next July.

    when you begin a sentence with By + a certain time/date, we are now imagining ourselves in the future, ahead of or on that certain time/date, looking back to the past on the things we have done before that certain time/date.

    there is a mixture of Future and Past -- so future perfect tense should be the one to be used.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    No wonder. :) Members often have different opinions about various topics, peptidoglycan. "Will graduate" and "start" are certainly possible in my part of the world.

    The future perfect is probably better if you need to make it clear that all these actions will have already been finished by the end of next July. That emphasis isn't always necessary, and I sometimes hear people use the simple future in sentences similar to yours.

    One tense that I hear frequently in similar sentences is the future continuous: By this time next year, I'll be working in a new field and going to school at night.

    If I were answering some question in a grammar test, I'd choose the answer with the future perfect in a list of possible answers.
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    Senior Member
    English - US
    I have a potential logical problem with "will start" in that the graduation very likely has a set date in May or early June. I think it is very unlikely that someone would say something like "By February, it will be Christmas."
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