when

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navi

Banned
armenian
Which is correct:

1-He called two hours after the time at which he was supposed to arrive to say he'd be late.
2-He called two hours after when he was supposed to arrive to say he'd be late.

It seems to me that this is a complicated thing to say!
I'd use the first one, but logically the second one should work... (He called just when he was supposed to arrive.)... or maybe not...
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    They are both grammatical enough, but the first one is difficult to read. Even better would be: "Two hours after he was supposed to arrive, he called to say he'd be late."
     

    chris baden-mayer

    New Member
    English-American
    As a native English speaker I correct these kinds of problems in my own writing all the time. I try to simplify my sentences, using the fewest words for the clearest communication.

    1-He called two hours after the time at which he was supposed to arrive to say he'd be late.
    In this sentence "the time at which" is unecessary because you have already said "two hours" and we know we are talking about time. So it should be:
    "He called two hours after he was supposed to arrive to say he'd be late."

    2-He called two hours after when he was supposed to arrive to say he'd be late.
    The "when" is unecessary since you have already said 'two hours after'.
    So again it would be:
    "He called two hours after he was supposed to arrive to say he would be late."

    Hope this helps.
     

    LivMeg

    New Member
    English - American
    You could also even say:
    "He called to say he would be late two hours after he was supposed to arrive."

    I only say this because technically, you could interpret this as meaning "He called two hours after he was supposed to arrive to say he'd be late." In other words, grammatically you are saying that he was arriving in order to say that he would be late...even though it is contextually obvious that someone would not do that. My version is just simplifying the thought a bit further.
     
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