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4. Past Perfect Tense in Main Clause

A. Sometimes the action in the main clause can precede the action of the subordinate clause. In this case in Russian sentences the adverb ‘уже’ is often used.

They had gone to bed when we came.

Они уже легли спать, когда мы пришли.

But in English sentences the use of ‘already’ is not obligatory because the very form of the Past Perfect shows the completion of the action.

B. Note the use of the Past Perfect Negative. In this case the Past Perfect describes the action not yet finished before the beginning of the following one. In the corresponding Russian sentence the adverb ‘еще’ is used.

They hadn’t gone to bed when we came.

Они еще не легли спать (не успели лечь спать),

когда мы пришли.

C. Constructions hardly (scarcely) .... when - едва/только .... как

and no sooner .... than - не успел .... как

He had hardly (scarcely) entered the house when it began to rain.

Едва/только он вошел в дом, как пошел дождь.

He had no sooner come than he fell ill.

Не успел он приехать, как заболел.

The future

1. Future Forms

There are several ways of expressing the future in English. The forms are listed below and will be dealt with in the order in which they are given. It is recommended to study them in this order, as otherwise the relationship between them will not be clear.

a. The simple present

b. will + infinitive, used for intention

c. The present continuous

d. The be going to form

e. The ‘future simple’ will/shall + infinitive

f. The future continuous

g. The future perfect

h. The future perfect continuous

i. be + infinitive used to express future plans

j. be about + infinitive

2. The simple present used for the future

A. We use the present simple to talk about future events which are already ‘on a programme’. This is particularly common when we refer to timetables:

The autumn term starts on September 10th.

What time does the next train to London leave?

B. The simple present is used when speaking of a series of proposed future actions, like plans for a journey:

We leave at six, arrive in Dublin at ten and take the plane to London.

C. The present simple is also common in subordinate clauses of sentences about the future, after conjunctions of time, condition, and some others:

Tell me as soon as she arrives.

Supposing it snows - what shall we do?

3. Will + Infinitive Used to Express Intention at the Moment of Decision

A. If we talk about a decision at the moment we are making it, we generally use the future with will. (Shall is not common in this meaning except in questions.) The contracted form ‘ll is very frequent.

The phone is ringing. - I’ll answer it.

I’m going out for a drink. - Wait a minute and I’ll come with you.

We use shall if we are asking what decision we ought to make:

What shall I do?

Shall we tell her?

B. will + infinitive for threats, promises, offers, requests and refusal

1. Threats and promises are decisions, either to do something definitely, or to do it under certain circumstances:

I promise I’ll phone you as soon as I arrive.

I swear I’ll pay you back.

I’ll hit you if you do that again.

2. When we make offers and requests, we are asking for future actions to be decided:

That bag looks heavy. I’ll help you with it.

I need some money. - Don’t worry. I’ll lend you some.

We usually use Shall I...? for offers and Will you...? for requests:

Shall I carry your bag?

Will you shut the door, please?

3. To express negative intention (or refusal) we use won’t:

He won’t pay.

I won’t tell Tom what you said.

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