This video is speaking

If we get the subway, we will be on time?

and giving this slide

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Should I use "we will" or "will we"?

3 Answers 3


You can use either, but the meaning changes.

If you say "will we" you make a question. You are asking another person to predict or give their opinion. The other person could reply "Yes, because the subway is quick" or "No, the subway will take 30 minutes and we only have 10 minutes left."

If you say "we will" you are stating your opinion. It makes a statement and not a question.

Now it is is possible to ask a question by using intonation, but this makes the question biased. Saying "We will?" carries the implication "I think we won't!" It is unlikely to use question intonation to ask a biased question like this with an "if" clause, because that looks like a genuine question and not a biased one.

So in short, if you want to ask a question like this, use proper question grammar, don't depend on intonation.

  • 1
    In everyday English, lots of people use "we will" with a question tone to ask someone else. Although which is grammatically incorrect, the one with him/her would get the question unambiguously, right?
    – WXJ96163
    Feb 22, 2020 at 21:36
  • 1
    I've editted to discuss question intonation with statement syntax.
    – James K
    Feb 22, 2020 at 21:49
  • Good answer, but I disagree with your interpretation of the intonation-based question's implication. "We will?" says "You seem to be saying we will, I'm just checking to make sure." True that it's inherently biased though. Feb 24, 2020 at 7:24

You have an interrogative sentence in the second part; thus, it should be "will we". Like :

If I study hard, can I pass the exam?

  • 2
    I'm not sure this is a good example, because it sounds like you're asking permission to pass the exam in exchange for studying hard.
    – nick012000
    Feb 23, 2020 at 7:42

Depends on the following ‘then’ statement. If the latter is a question, use ‘will we’. If the latter is a statement, use ‘we will’.

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