I'm aware of what possibly means, but I was wondering if the following 2 sentences have, to some extent, different nuances.

Here's the situation; 2 friends are talking about a woman they ran into during an office party.

"When the time will come?" "When will the time come?"

  • 1
    The first is ungrammatical, except when you parrot those words back to someone who has just said them, and then the meaning would be either "What did you mean when you said 'When the time will come' "? or "please confirm what you just said". Apr 18, 2017 at 13:45
  • How does the situation of running into someone at a party square with your question re those phrases? The first is not a sentence, by the way.
    – Lambie
    Nov 2, 2019 at 16:22

1 Answer 1


When will the time come?"

This is the standard question form of when + "the time will come." You want to know when.

When the time will come?

You can "questionify" a statement, or phrase that could validly extend a statement by adding a question mark at the end, without changing the word order.

This turns the statement into a request for acknowledgement. The appropriate answers here are only yes or no, or something that evaluates to no, but X instead.

This is what it sounds like your doing with this example. You already know when, you simply want acknowledgement.

Other examples to illustrate:

A: I'm going to the park.

B: Where Sally is? (B knows Sally went to the park earlier and believes that's why A is going there. This is valid because you could say I'm going to the park where Sally is.)

A: Yes. (Acknowledged)


A: I'm going to try to find my dog.

B: The brown dog? (Again, it's valid if A said I'm going to try to find my dog, the brown dog)

A: I'm looking for the black one. (= "No, I'm looking for the black one instead.")

  • questionify? Please.
    – Lambie
    Nov 2, 2019 at 15:13

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