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When…

When you use ‘when’ in a sentence, the sentence has two parts.

If the sentence begins with when, then at the end of the clause we use a comma.

 

Example:

 

When I walked to grandma’s house, the weather was sunny. (Because the sentence begins with when we use a comma at the end of the clause)

As you can see the sentence has two parts:

 

    when I walked to grandma’s house

 

and

 

    the weather was sunny

 

OR you could say…

 

The weather was sunny when I walked to grandma’s house. (This time we have used when in the middle and not the beginning so there is no need to use a comma)

 

More examples

 

  • When you’ve been drinking, you’re not allowed to drive.

  • You’re not allowed to drive when you’ve been drinking.

  • When I was 22, I graduated from university.

  • I was 22 when I graduated from university.

  • I graduated from university when I was 22.

  • When Susan got married, she was 35.

  • Susan was 35 when she got married.

  • Susan got married when she was 35.

  • When I’m older, I want to live in Dubai.

  • I want to live in Dubai when I’m older.

  • When I was a baby, my sister use to fight with me.

  • My sister use to fight with me when I was a baby.

  • When it’s raining, I like to play outside.

  • I like to play outside when it’s raining.

 

The way we use ‘when’ in sentences, we do the same with ‘before’/’while’/’after’ in sentences.

 

Before

 

  • Before you leave the house, you better clean your bedroom.

  • You better clean your bedroom before you leave the house.

  • Before you go to school, you should have a good breakfast.

  • You should have a good breakfast before you go to school.

 

While

 

  • While I was walking to the bus stop, it started snowing.

  • It started snowing while I was walking to the bus stop.

  • While I was waiting for Tom to pick me up from my house, I ate a banana.

  • I ate a banana while I was waiting for Tom to pick me up from my house.

 

After

 

  • After I came back from school, I cooked dinner for my family.

  • I cooked dinner for family after I came back from school.

  • After swimming, Susan came to my house.

  • Susan came to my house after swimming.

 

We use the present ‘When I am…’ / ‘When I go…’ for a future meaning.

 

  • When I am in New York, Emma will be there too. (I am going to go to New York some time in the near future and when I am, Emma is going to be in New York as well.)

  • When I go swimming, I am going to have a shower at the swimming baths. (I am going swimming some time in the near future and when I go, I am going to have a shower at the swimming baths)

  • When I get home I am going to eat my dinner.

  • When I have time, I am going to catch up on my TV programmes.

 

 

When… Exercises


 

  1. Change the arrangement of the following sentences using a comma.

 

Example:

You’re not allowed to drive when you’ve been drinking.

When you’ve been drinking, you’re not allowed to drive.

 

  • You have to brush your teeth when you wake up. __________________________________________

  • Sam was 33 when he moved to Australia. ________________________________________________

  • Kate was 18 months when she started walked. ____________________________________________

  • You should take medicine when you’re not feeling well. _____________________________________

 

  1. Change the arrangement of the following sentences so that no comma is needed.

 

  • Before you go upstairs, I want you to clean the living room. __________________________________________________________________________________

  • Before you sleep, empty the dishwasher. __________________________________________________________________________________

  • Before eating your dinner, wash your hands. ___________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. Complete the following sentences.

 

  • While ______________________________ , _________________________________________

  • __________________________________while _______________________________________

  • While ______________________________ , _________________________________________

  • __________________________________while _______________________________________

  • After ______________________________ , __________________________________________

  • __________________________________ after _______________________________________

  • After ______________________________ , __________________________________________

  • __________________________________ after _______________________________________

 

 

Challenge: Create your own sentences using ‘When…’ for a future meaning.

 

  • When I am _____________________________________________________________________

  • When I am _____________________________________________________________________

  • When I go ______________________________________________________________________

  • When I go ______________________________________________________________________

  • When I get _____________________________________________________________________

  • When I get _____________________________________________________________________

  • When I have ____________________________________________________________________

  • When I have _____________________________________________________________________

 

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