1. JD Martin
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    JD Martin New Member

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    Correct grammar: Once or when?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by JD Martin, Feb 28, 2013.

    Hello, I have a fairly simple question, with a follow-up.

    Is it correct to write:

    Once the telephone woke him, [followed by the rest of the sentence];
    or:
    When the telephone finally woke him, [followed by rest of sentence] ?

    And also about the word usage of woke: if you're writing in third person past tense, is it correct to say: telephone woke him; telephone awoke him; telephone had woken him?

    Thanks =)
     
  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    All options you mentioned are correct, but you need to decide which is most appropriate for your sentence.
    To me, "Once the telephone woke him" in this context would be used to illustrate causality such as "Once the telepone woke him, he could not fall asleep again." Also it can be used to describe a specific and stand out even in the past, and Once and One time are interchangeable. Such as "Once (one time) he woke up and saw a ghost standing next to his bed".

    "When the telephone finally woke him" would be more common in ordinary narration of events such as "When telephone finally woke him, he realised he will never make it to the airport on time."

    ps. This type of question is probably better posted in " Word Mechanics" part of the forum.
     
  3. JD Martin
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    JD Martin New Member

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    Thanks. I didn't realize there was a "Word Mechanics."

    I'm going to love this forum, I do believe!
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the once/when options are both ok, as jazz mentioned... but the 'will' part she added is the wrong tense... has to be 'would' to make sense and be good grammar...

    re "telephone woke him; telephone awoke him; telephone had woken him?" if you google the verbs 'wake' and 'awake' you'll see they're not as simple to conjugate or use interchangeably as it may seem...
     

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