Example 1

I will decide whether I approach him at the food court or not.

Example 2

I will decide whether I will approach him at the food court or not.

What are the differences in meaning?

Does Example 1 mean I will approach him immediately after I decide?

  • 1
    Neither is very idiomatic; most people would say "I will decide whether to approach him or not". Commented Jan 15 at 9:38
  • You might argue that the first is more appropriate in cases where you could have approached in the past, or where approaching in the past would have the same outcome as approaching in the future. But without more context it's hard to see much difference between them. 2 might be contrasting past with future, or emphasizing that something could only happen in the future, or using "will" for emphasis, but it might not be significant.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 15 at 11:28

1 Answer 1


I think the construction is idiomatic. But let's try it with a different sentence since approaching someone at the food court is not a typical context for this locution, and maybe that is why Kate finds it not very idiomatic, per her comment.

I will decide whether I give them a second chance or not.

The nuanced difference between "whether I give" and "whether to give" is that the speaker in the former is emphasizing that it will be their decision and their decision alone. With the latter, the choice is the focus.

P.S. There is no implication of immediate action.

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