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The conjunction quand is often used with future tenses in both subclauses. This website says "On utilise obligatoirement le futur simple après quand, lorsque et aussitôt que (ou dès que)."

But can we actually use other tenses in either of the subclauses? Can we use any of these combinations of futur simple and future proche?

(1) Je sortirai quand je finirai mon travail.

(2) Je sortirai quand je vais finir mon travail.

(3) Je vais sortir quand je finirai mon travail.

(4) Je vais sortir quand je vais finir mon travail.

I think (1) should work and (3) probably works, but I'm not sure about (2) and (4). Can we say "... quand je vais finir mon travail" if the work is expected to be finished soon?

Or should we use the futur antérieur "... quand j'aurai fini mon travail"?

  • That quote from the site is wrong, you can use many tenses after quand and the others. Quand je pense qu'ils ont osé écrire cela ! Lorsque je vois ça, je suis choqué. Aussitôt que j'ai vu ton message, j'ai pensé à plein de contre-exemples. Dès que j'aurai fini d'écrire le mien, je leur enverrai un mail. – Destal Jan 4 '17 at 9:39
  • Je vais finir and Je finirai are the difference between: I'm going to finish and I will/shall finish. They are both futures. Je vais sortir quand j'aurai fini mon travail is used. – Lambie Jan 5 '17 at 14:36
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Like Isuka said, the correct way to say this is :

Je sortirai quand j'aurai fini mon travail.

or

Je sortirai dès que j'aurai fini mon travail.

To sum up the comments, "Je [futur simple] quand je [futur simple]" can work, but not here.

Quand means both actions are done at the same time. These sentences are correct:

Je mangerai quand je serai dans le train

Je prendrai la voiture quand j'irai au travail demain

The problem is the word finir : "je finis" means "I'm finishing", "je finirai" means "I will be finishing".

When you say "je finirai A", it means you're almost done with A but you're still doing it, you can't be doing another action that needs A to be finished (here, getting out of work).

In order to get out, you must "have finished" your work. But if there is no requirement, you can do something while you're finishing, ex:

Je t'appelerai quand je finirai mon film

That means the person will call during the credits or the ending scene for example. When the movie is finishing but not quite finished yet.


You also mentioned :

On partira dès que tu rentreras

That means they'll go when the first person is still just arriving home. The person will not even have to time to get here that they'll go right away. It reinforces the "dès que" (as soon as).

If you say:

On partira quand tu sera rentré

It means won't be as quick, the person will have the time to finish the action of "rentrer". Maybe they'll have the time to grab a beer or something. I hope you'll get the nuance.

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    That's indeed better explained. Good job! – Isuka Jan 5 '17 at 13:29
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None of the above sentences would actually work. You should combine future simple and futur antérieur there. The event of going out will happen after the event of finishing the work. That's the point of futur antérieur: to talk about an event happening before another event which is described with futur simple. The sentence would then be:

Je sortirai quand j'aurai fini mon travail.

Je sortirai dès que j'aurai fini mon travail.

For the sentences 3 and 4, that would a combination of present and passé composé or present and futur antérieur.

Je vais sortir dès que j'ai fini mon travail.

Je vais sortir dès que j'aurai fini mon travail.

  • This website has the following example sentence: "Nous partirons dès que tu rentreras." (not "... dès que tu seras rentré(e)"). How would you explain it then? – user11550 Dec 30 '16 at 1:36
  • I am kinda confused by what this website is saying there: "On utilise obligatoirement le futur simple après quand, lorsque et aussitôt que (ou dès que)." Though, in the book "Usage courant de la langue française", page 167, there is the following example: "Quand j'aurai terminé ma lecture, je sortirai". The same way there, I would have said "Nous partirons dès que tu seras rentré". – Isuka Dec 30 '16 at 1:51
  • Right, I'm not sure either whether this website is correct. Do you think it is also valid to say "... dès que tu rentreras"? – user11550 Dec 30 '16 at 3:37
  • Strictly, the sentence with tu rentreras means that they will leave when he will be coming back (so maybe before he is back). With tu seras rentré, there is no doubt you will wait he is back before leaving. – Destal Jan 4 '17 at 9:44
  • @user11550 The problem isn't just related to the tenses, it's linked to the use of the pair "sortir" and "finir". "Nous partirons dès que tu rentreras" means both actions are done at the same time, which is possible in that case. But you can't say "Je sortirai quand je finirai mon travail", you can't be finishing and get out at the same time. You could say for example "je mangerai mon sandwich quand je finirai mon travail", which means you'll eat a sandwich while doing the last bit of work you have. Do you think I should make a separate answer ? (I'm not sure I'm being clear) – Teleporting Goat Jan 5 '17 at 12:55

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