Future tenses in interrogative clauses

1

Hi everyone, I’m Vincenzo Bonitatibus, from Italy. If I may, I would like to ask you a question about four forms of future tenses in English, in interrogative sentences.
What is the difference in meaning among, for example:

 

1) What time are we meeting tonight?
2) What time shall we meet tonight?
3) What time will we meet tonight?
4) What time are we going to meet tonight?

 

and, are all of these forms correct?
Thank you very much for your attention.
All the best,

Vincenzo

asked Jul 02 '13 at 13:26 Vincenzo New member

2 answers


4

They are all correct, and all mean almost the same thing. 'Will' would be more common than 'shall', though.

One and four seem to imply that the meeting time is already set and the speaker is inquiring about the time. Two and three could imply that the meeting time isn't set, and that it should be decided by consensus.

link comment answered Jul 02 '13 at 13:43 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow
0

I fully agree. Your heading is incorrect, though. Your examples are not clauses; they are simple sentences. Constructing the future tense in English leaves you with a number of options. You may even add the present simple: What time do we meet tonight? There might be small distinctions in semantic nuance, but the timeline is identical.

link comment edited Jul 03 '13 at 23:01 Ahmad Barnard Expert

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