By the time

By the time the new edition is published, the writer … thousands of the first edition.
a)would have sold
c)will have sold [color=green](Answer Key)
d)has sold

Source: school exam

Longman Thesaurus says:

[b]by the time[/b]
used in order to say that one thing [b][color=red]has[/b] or will have already happened when something else happens:
• By the time a child is five, he will have watched hundreds of hours of television.

So, according to the red word in the definition of the “by the time” can’t we say that option D (has sold) is also correct? We have “has” in option D too.

Not really. In conventional English usage, only option C is correct… and you can see this reflected in the example you have taken from the dictionary.

You can only use ‘has sold’ if you are employing an increasingly popular technique, particularly in the media, of narrating the past in the present tense. I would not expect any grammar examination to base their answers on such rules.

This really isn’t an ‘increasingly popular technique’ but simply a different ‘aspect’ - what often happens rather than what is going to happen.

I’m of the view that the future perfect indicates an activity as happening when another is completed/has taken place. Here, while the former is scheduled, the latter is sure to follow since it is ‘will have sold’. In fact both refer to future. The correct answer is c) as shown.

Understood thank you.

Of course it’s ‘increasingly popular’ due to the fact that certain types of television programmes now seem to thrive on using this technique in their narration - and I see no reason why I cannot refer to it as a ‘technique’ if you are going to refer to it as an ‘aspect’.

I don’t think you understand the grammatical use of the word ‘aspect’, which is how I am using it.

The action extending over time?
What difference does it make to you original assertion that this is not a technique, but an aspect.
Perhaps I should argue that you don’t understand there are various narrative techniques then… though I am sure you do, really.

Don’t dig an even deeper hole for yourself. Look up ‘aspect’ under a grammar heading and you will see what I mean.

I’m sure if you were to try, you would see what I mean. It’s not difficult.

Last attempt - GRAMMAR!


And none of that changes the fact that only option C in the original grammar test question would be acceptable.

It is clear that over the years grammar has been your Achilles heel. Mostly when I have put that straight, you have silently accepted it. This time you have decided to be tangential. But my point about grammar stays.

As does my point about narrative style and my original phrasing.
I wonder if you would have been just as contrary with anyone else. Somehow, I sadly doubt it.

Tangential to the end right at the bottom of the hole you have so strenuously dug for yourself!