Lesson 19 verb tenses in future time clauses

Choose the correct answers:

  1. When Josephine __________ (holds, will hold) her birthday party next month, she is going to invite eight closest friends.
  2. She is going to send them the party invitation as soon as she __________ (reserves, is going to reserve) the restaurant next week.
  3. While all the guests __________ (are enjoying, will be enjoying) the party on that special day, Josephine’s brother will be flying in from New York.  He hopes that he will be able to make it to the party before it __________ (ends, will end).


A future time clause is a dependent clause about future, but the verb tense used is simple present or present progressive, not future. However, a future verb tense must be used in the independent clause.  A good way to be certain of the right tenses is to highlight the future time clause and make sure that the verb inside uses the simple present or present progressive form.

  • In Sentence #1,  When Josephine holds her birthday party next month… (simple present verb in future time clause)
  • In Sentence #2,  … as soon as she reserves the restaurant next week. (simple present verb in future time clause)
  • In Sentence #3,  While all the guests are enjoying the party on that special day (present progressive verb in future time clause)…before it ends. (simple present verb in future time clause)



My graduation ceremony will take place in May next year. Before the day __________ (arrives, will arrive), I will complete all the requirements for graduation. When I __________ (put on, am going to put on) my cap and gown that day, I will feel happy and proud. My family will be so proud of me while I __________ (am walking, will be walking) across the stage to receive my diploma.




holds; reserves; are enjoying; ends

arrives; put on; am walking