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Correct use of Have

Which one of the following sentences is correct?
I will chat after I have dinner.
I will chat after I have had dinner.
I will chat after having dinner.


  • They're all 'correct'. They're also strange,

    I will chat is strange in two ways:

    have a chat is more natural

    will is not the most natural FUTURE expression for this sort of casual plan

    As always, the biggest problem is that it's one isolated sentence without any context. There's no mention of any other person, but it takes at least two people to chat.

    • I can imagine a context where it would be natural to say

    We can have a chat after dinner.
    We can have a chat after we've had dinner.

    • I can imagine another context for

    We'll be having a chat after dinner

    I object to 'I' because one person alone can't chat.

    I don't like 'after we have' or 'after having' because they belong in writing. They sound a bit too formal for talking about an after-dinner chat.

    Ignoring your examples, the answer is (I think) that all three constructions with after are grammatically OK. Any construction may be appropriate in the right context. And they may mean more or less the same.

    As well as context there may be a grammatical objection caused by the meaning of the verb. For example we can say

    I'll tell you after I know the result.
    but not
    I'll tell you after I've known the result.

  • I’ll chat.... I addressed this sentence to the group.

  • Hi @Ahzee,

    I'll chat to/with you after... would be more usual and in keeping with @DavidCrosbie's comments above. ("you" could be either singular or plural in this example).

    It's probably also worth mentioning that the verb have is often omitted, especially in informal contexts, giving I'll chat to you after dinner. The same goes for any event (meal, race, performance, etc.).

    The other thing worth mentioning, as an English person, is the nuance that I get from seeing the words in writing: the use of the word will (or the abbreviated 'll) makes the construction seem much more demanding, like a manager talking talking to a subordinate. Obviously context and tone can take that edge away but if such a comment were posted on an internet forum, for example, those elements may be absent. Using words which express the same sentiment but as a suggestion (we should chat..., we ought to chat...) or with less certainty (we can chat..., we could chat...) are two ways in which people in the UK, especially the English, might tone down such a comment grammatically. This is very much a cultural observation and I think such a nuance is much less problematic in non-English (but still English-speaking), circles.

  • I appreciate your views on the topic. I was lacking respect by saying 'I'll chat after..'. Thank you so much to you both sir.

  • Hi @Ahzee,

    I don't think many people would think it disrespectful if not intended in that way, especially from someone learning the language and unfamiliar with the cultural nuances (as I said above, context and tone can change the dynamic entirely). However, using a less forceful construction would be a little more agreeable.

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