While listening to Taylor Swift's "Anti-Hero", I came across the line

I'll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror (lyric video)

which I intuitively understand to mean that she is capable and willing to do the former (staring at the sun), but not the latter.

Now, this does not seem to be simple future using "will" as in

I will go to the supermarket tomorrow.

which states a concrete intention at a specific time. Rather, Swift appears to make a general statement about the lyrical subject. I'd like to read more about this usage, but lack search terms. What is this usage called?

  • 1
    Does this help? Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 11:15
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    @KateBunting I guess "habitual aspect" is what I was looking for.
    – TAR86
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 11:40
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    This could be answered with a dictionary, which will show you the multiple uses of the modal verb 'will'. Using it to talk about the future is different from using it to speak about what you are able/willing to do.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 15:12


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