I would join him if he will have come by 5 o'clock tomorrow

russian80

Senior Member
Ukraine- Russian & Ukrainian
How correct, clear and idiomatic is the sentence:

"I would join him if he will have come by 5 o'clock tomorrow." ?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    The tenses are strange in that sentence. I expect to read one of these two conditional sentences:

    (1) I will join him if he comes by five o'clock tomorrow. (I believe that he may come by five o'clock tomorrow.)
    (2) I would join him if he came by five o'clock tomorrow. (I doubt that he will come by five o'clock tomorrow.)
     

    russian80

    Senior Member
    Ukraine- Russian & Ukrainian
    russian80 - Who wrote the sentence? It doesn't make sense to me.
    A student of mine. There was a dialogue:

    - John will have come tomorrow by the time you leave.
    - I would join him if he will have come by 5 o'clock.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    John will have come tomorrow by the time you leave.
    The phrase "will have come" and "by the time" are complicated. You are comparing two events (John's arrival, your departure) and saying one will happen before the other. I suggest:

    John will arrive before you leave tomorrow.

    - I would join him if he will have come by 5 o'clock.
    I am not sure what "join him" means. You are leaving. He is arriving. That is "separating", not "joining".
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    A: John will be here by the time you leave tomorrow.
    B: I'll join him if he's here by 5 o'clock.
    This is, of course, grammatically impeccable (unlike the original), but I wonder about the logical connections. Unless A is lying, then B should know from A's statement whether John will be here by 5:00. Unless "if he's here by 5:00" is meant as an echo, as in:

    - The train's gonna be late tonight.
    - Oh, well if the train's gonna be late, then we may as well hang out for a bit longer.

    Here the echo is equivalent to "in that case."
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Unless A is lying, then B should know from A's statement whether John will be here by 5:00.
    How so? We don't really know what "join him" means. My guess is that it means join him for a coffee and a chat (perhaps a private chat without A present). To allow that to happen, enough time needs to be allocated for that interaction. Here's the scenario that comes to mind:

    B needs to leave by 6 o'clock tomorrow at the latest, and A knows this.
    A is sure John will arrive before 6, but doesn't know exactly when. It could be earlier in the afternoon.
    B reckons that the aforementioned chat can really only happen if there is at least an hour available for it, otherwise they'll all feel in too much of a rush. Therefore, if B is to join John, John needs to arrive by 5.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    We don't really know what "join him" means.
    Maybe AE is different from BE here. My concern is the word "join". In this context "I will join him" means "I will do what he will be doing". He plans to fly to Paris? Then "I will join him" means "I will fly to Paris with him".

    In AE, this "I will join him" cannot mean "I will chat with him, since we are both in the same place." If they were in different places, "join him" could mean "go to where he is, and meet him there". But it is the same place: "here". So it should be:

    A: John will arrive here before you leave (at 6) tomorrow.
    B: Good. If he's here by 5, we'll have time to chat.

    It still sounds a little odd, because less than 1 hour would let them chat, since they will be in the same place.
     
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