Expressions of time occur in almost every sentence. As a result, there are a large number of connectives related to time. It is important to note that, with this relationship, the various connectives in each category are even less interchangeable than connectives that cover the other relationships presented in this module. As a result, students need to become familiar with the precise meaning and use of each connective.
Conjunctions and The Time Relationship
The following conjunctions are used to express time relationships:
as soon as
by the time (that)
The following sentences illustrate the use of some of these conjunctions:
As soon as a professional sports team has a successful season, the owners raise ticket prices.
I will have already gone home by the time (that) you are done with your class.
She smiles whenever she sees you.
She smiled as she drove by.
Expressions of time are often reversible in the sense that the same meaning can be expressed by rewriting the sentence with a different connective, as illustrated below.
The taxi left before you came out.
By the time (that) you came out, the taxi had already left.
After the taxi left, you came out.
However, it must be emphasized that many deaf students have difficulty recognizing the equivalency of such sentences and may be confused about which event happened first.
Conjunctive Adverbs and the Time Relationship
Again, it is necessary to ensure that students understand the differences in meaning between connectives in the following list.
in the end
Some of the conjunctive adverbs in the above list are illustrated in the following examples:
I've been waiting for hours. At last, you're here. What happened?
One of my friends in high school ran away with his girlfriend. Previously, he had had some difficulties with the police.
They were thinking about buying a house; in the end, they decided not to.
Prepositions and the Time Relationship
The following prepositions are used to express time relationships:
at the time of
The following sentences illustrate the use of some of these prepositions:
Sara gave up running during the later stages of her pregnancy.
The United States has been at war with Iraq since the early nineties.
Subsequent to her divorce Maggie felt much happier.