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Why has the writer used "will" rather than "simple present" in the following sentences:

1) Many people learn English because they think it will be useful in some way for international communication and travel.

2) The purposes students have for learning will have an effect on what it is they want and to learn-and as a result will influence what they are taught.

3) Business English students for example, will want to spend a lot of time concentrating on the language needed for specific business transactions and situations.

4) Students living in a target-language community will need to use English to achieve their immediate practical and social needs.

5) Students of general English will not have such such specific needs, of course, and so their lessons will almost certainly look different from those for students with more clearly identifiable needs.

6) Private language schools, on the other hand, tend to be better equipped than some government schools. They will frequently have smaller class sizes, crucially, the students in them may well have chosen to come and study. This will affect their motivation at the beginning of the process.

7) Clearly the size of the class will affect how we teach.

I think the reason why the writer has used "will" is to express her belief about the topics or to make her prediction or guess about the future. Am I right?

  • What is the source of these sentences? – laugh Aug 26 at 15:44
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Yes, the writer is generally using "will" here to express what the reader should expect. The use of the future modal is sensible because expectation is oriented toward the future.

That is an idiomatic usage, but the writer also uses "will" in other senses and thereby creates unnecessary confusion. For example, the "will" in the first point is used merely to indicate the future after the students have learned some English. The "will" in the seventh point is sloppy English; what is intended is "ought to" or "should." People do use "will" as a substitute for "should" or "ought to," but it is not a good usage if you want to be clear.

Needless to say, it is poor style to use "will" in multiple senses in the same piece.

In point 2, it would be more concise and clearer to write "affect" rather than "will have an effect on" and to write "should influence" rather than "will influence."

In point 3, "will" is unnecessary.

In point 5, the first "will" is unnecessary, and the second "will almost certainly" ought to be replaced by "should almost always."

Point 6 is a masterpiece of bad English prose. It has a "run-on" sentence; at least three referents for the third person plural pronouns, and inconsistent use of "will." To be consistent and therefore clearer, the second and third sentences should omit "will" as has been done in the first sentence.

In point 7, "will" ought to be replaced with "should."

I emphasize that the uses of "will" in this piece are idiomatic. They merely make the piece vague, pretentious, and verbose.

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