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what might happen/what will happen Options
navi
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 1:16:35 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 357
Neurons: 3,380
1) I'm curious to see what might happen next.
2) I'm curious to see what will happen next.

Is there any difference in the meanings of these sentences?

Does '2' imply that something will necessary happen, while '2' leaves open the possibility of nothing happening?

I don't think there is a real difference. But I'd still say that the speaker probably considers the chances of nothing happening higher if he or she utters '1'?


One could argue that if nothing happens, something has still happened!

Gratefully,
Navi
sureshot
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 2:10:33 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,023
Neurons: 379,418
navi wrote:
1) I'm curious to see what might happen next.
2) I'm curious to see what will happen next.

Is there any difference in the meanings of these sentences?

Does '2' imply that something will necessary happen, while '2' leaves open the possibility of nothing happening?

I don't think there is a real difference. But I'd still say that the speaker probably considers the chances of nothing happening higher if he or she utters '1'?


One could argue that if nothing happens, something has still happened!

Gratefully,
Navi

_____________________________

In sentence 1, the use of "might" suggests that there is a possibility something may happen but you are not at all certain. The speaker considers that the chances of nothing happening are also there.

In sentence 2,the use of "will" suggests that the speaker feels that the probability or expectation about something happening is fairly strong. The degree of probability of the occurrence of the event is certainly far greater than the degree of probability indicated by the modal verb "might".



Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 3:49:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,664
Neurons: 182,069
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Yes - as sureshot says, the probability or expectation is stronger.

However - as you mention. "Nothing changing" is still "something happening", unless the universe ends. But . . . the end of the universe is a 'happening'.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 4:02:27 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 18,187
Neurons: 73,859
I don't think there is much distinction here, though.

The context makes it clear this is all unknown.

They are curious about the future.
That suggests they don't know - it might be from a range of options, or it might be completely new, but whatever happens next is not predicted.
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