LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||12/JUN/2008 7:24 PM|
General principle: The key to the selection of any of the features of the English verb is usually the adverb / time setting. This is as a result of the fact that the temporal features are usually determined externally from the verb itself (cf some languages where the very form is itself linked to the temporal setting). Any use of the perfect or continuous aspects will be triggered / suggested by the adverb / time setting.
'By the time they come back he will have been doing his homework.'
It would be better to shift to a different verb to get a similar meaning across
By the time they come back he will have (already) started on his homework.
Alternatively, if you want to use this structure, do so in combination with an explicit time reference.
By the time they come back he will have been doing his homework for a number of hours
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