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What is the difference between the following sentences?

  1. This fence is going to come down.
  2. This fence is going to have to come down.

I have doubt that when you are saying fence is going to have to come down, that is enough to say it right? but why I hear in movies saying fence is going to have to come down, is there a difference between them?

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Sentence 1 implies that the fence is in the process of already coming down. Perhaps there is a storm blowing it down currently, or a work crew has already been hired to remove it.

Sentence 2 implies that the fence is not yet in the process of coming down, but should be soon. Perhaps an inspector noticed the fence is unsafe, and says to the owner "This fence is going to have to come down."

  • I'm not sure how "...is going to come down" implies that the fence is already in the process of coming down. To this speaker, it only implies that the fence will come down, much like "I am going to eat spaghetti" means that I will eat it in the future, not that I'm in the process of eating it. – stangdon Mar 9 '17 at 20:37
  • It just depends how you define "in the process of coming down". Your example isn't quite equivalent to what @Rangu asked. Consider if you instead said "I am going to have spaghetti." -- in this case, the statement could mean you are actually eating the spaghetti, making the sauce, or even just getting ingredients at the store. Similarly, saying "The fence is going to come down" could mean the fence is in the process of being removed, is scheduled for removal, or is simply old and about to fall under its own weight. – Peyton B Mar 9 '17 at 22:07
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1) This fence is going to come down.

In this situation, the fence is in poor condition and could fall down at any time due to deterioration or a wind storm, etc. It would be more literal to say:

This fence is going to fall down.

It is not because someone will remove it, because that would be:

This fence is going to be taken down.

and

2) This fence is going to have to come down.

This means that the fence will need to be removed due to some requirement and prior planning. For example:

A new road will be built along your property, so your fence is going to have to come down.

  • Thank you very much Mr user3169 for your reply. This sit is real wonderfull I would say. – Rangu Mar 10 '17 at 8:29

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