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Could you describe the difference if both sentences are correct. I don't see any difference in meaning (but tenses are different).

Can you tell me what time the museum will be open?

vs

Can you tell me what time the museum opens?

TIA

2 Answers 2

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One sentence is talking about something specific. The other can do that, but it can also be talking about something habitual:

  • Can you tell me what time the museum will be open?
    → When is the next time the museum will open?
  • Can you tell me what time the museum opens?
    → What are the opening hours of the museum?

In other words, you could say this:

I know that the museum opens at 10:00 a.m. on Mondays, but since there's construction right now, what time will it be open tomorrow?

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I think you would be understood in either case.

Can you tell me what time the museum opens?

Asks about when the museums changes state from closed to open. We haven't clarified whether we are asking about the next opening time, or the schedule for opening each day, but this question would work well if we were standing outside the closed museum and want to know when we can go in.

Can you tell me what time the museum will be open

If taken literally is asking about the period of time in which the museum will be open rather than the transition to open state.

The museum will be open from 10:00 until 17:00 every day, except Monday when it is closed all day.

However informally, when standing outside a closed museum, the sense of "when can I go in" would probably be understood.

There's a slight mismatch in the question because time is singular and the response could specify opening and closing times. So being pedantic I might say:

Please could you tell me when the museum be open today?

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  • "Please could you tell me when the museum be open today?" This form with "be" is new for me. So if I say: "Please could you tell me when the museum is open today?" it is something different?
    – Sergei
    Apr 25, 2020 at 13:06
  • "Will be" is the future tense of "is". Compare "He will be hungry" and "He is hungry". In your museum question you are asking about the the future, so "be" is perhaps a little better, but I might instead use "is"; it would feel as though I'm imagining the state of the museum in the future and so has a nice feel of immediacy. We're almost into the realm of poetry here, I don't believe that there are simple prescriptions.
    – djna
    Apr 26, 2020 at 12:44

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