Don't speak until I [tell, told, have told or what?] you?

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I've one or two questions..

How [should or could?] you say this sentence?

Don't speak until I [tell, told, have told or what?] you.

user37421

Posted 2015-03-31T21:01:21.470

Reputation: 955

Answers

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You could write it any of those ways, but if you want it to be grammatically correct, you should write it like this:

Don't speak until I tell you.

Actually, I would probably say, "Don't speak until I tell you to."

What you are meaning is, "I will tell you to speak [later], so don't speak until then." Therefore, you can't use past tense.

If you use "told" or "have told", it would mean you already told them to speak at some point in the past, but still they need to be quiet... until when?

Not correct:

"Don't speak until I told you." (Means: "I told you to speak a minute ago, so don't speak until then." It doesn't make sense.)

Don't speak until I have told you. (Means: "I have told you to speak in the past, so don't speak until then." It doesn't make sense.)

Keiki

Posted 2015-03-31T21:01:21.470

Reputation: 1 025

Thanks that's clear .. can I take could as an answer for my other question? – user37421 – 2015-03-31T21:36:04.733

1For your first question, "How should I write this?" is correct. "Could" means "what is possible". I was making a joke, that since you have a keyboard, it is possible for you to write anything. "Should" means, "what is proper", so that's what you want :) – Keiki – 2015-03-31T21:41:23.260

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"Don't speak until I tell you."

I think this is the most common way to utter/write the sentence.

B Gaurav

Posted 2015-03-31T21:01:21.470

Reputation: 369

What about the other choices are they less common or wrong? – user37421 – 2015-03-31T21:15:50.140

The only other choice that might work would be "Don't speak until I have told you what you did wrong." or something along those lines. – WhatRoughBeast – 2015-03-31T22:34:13.120