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    #1

    "How do...?" vs "How will...?

    What's the difference between the two sentences?
    "How do I remove that tree?"
    "How will I remove that tree?
    Another examples,
    "How do I know if you're telling the truth?"
    "How will I know if you're telling the truth?"
    Thanks.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "How do...?" vs "How will...?

    Quote Originally Posted by 070281achilles View Post
    What's the difference between the two sentences?
    "How do I remove that tree?"
    "How will I remove that tree?
    The second alternative is very rarely right. It is asking someone to make a precise prediction: 'You think you're so clever. OK, just tell me this: if I have one arm tied behind my back and I'm blindfolded, how will I remove that tree?'

    Many alternatives are possible replacements for 'do' in that sentence, depending on the meaning - can, could, may, might, must...
    Quote Originally Posted by 070281achilles View Post
    Another pair of examples,
    "How do I know if you're telling the truth?"
    "How will I know if you're telling the truth?"
    Thanks.
    This isn't so clear cut - and I'm thinking about the reason...

    Again, the second's asking for a prediction, but it's a safer prediction if it's asking the truth-teller to give a sign about what s/he is going to do - because people are in control of their own actions:

    Truth-teller: 'When I come out of the room, I'll give you the answer.'
    Truth-seeker: 'How will I know if you're telling the truth, without letting the others know?'
    Truth-teller: 'I'll have my right hand in my pocket. If my left hand's in my pocket, I'm lying. OK?


    Here's a less Macchiavellian example:

    Truth-teller: 'When I come out of the room, I'll give you the answer.'
    Truth-seeker: 'How will I know if you're telling the truth?'
    Truth-teller: 'You won't'


    b

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    #3

    Re: "How do...?" vs "How will...?

    Those examples are truly very helpful. Thanks.

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