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What is the main difference between these two sentences:

(1) Will I have to come there?
(2) Do I have to come there?

Which is most appropriate to use. Is "Will I have to come" grammatically correct or not?

Here is the context: Today I was on call, and I wanted to say that am I required to be there in the meeting? Then I suddenly got confused that which of the above sentences I should use. Can anyone tell me which is more appropriate in this situation?

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  • @JR you forgot the title, and tags. – Shadow Wizard Dec 29 '14 at 15:59
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"Will I have to...?" asks if it will be required in the future at some point - not if you are expected to do it right now.

"Do I have to...?" is more flexible, it asks if it is required now - but can also be used of known requirements to do something in the future.

If unsure, prefer "do I have to".

Separately, "come there" can seem a little awkward. The rules of when it's better to use "come" or "go" are somewhat tricky. Any of "come along" (if you're both going to the meeting in the same direction) "come to you", "come to the meeting", or just "attend" might be better.

Also consider "Would you like me to..." or simply "Should I...?", as "have to" gives a faint impression you'd rather not be at the meeting unless absolutely necessary, whereas you may prefer to convey a willingness to come.

As you put it later "Am I required to be there?" is perfectly fine.

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Both are correct depending on situation. If your meeting was ongoing and your presence was required (or not required) at that time "do I have to" could have been used. On the other hand if meeting was in future or question of your presence was for future then "will I have to" would have been used. For further understanding please study Present Simple and Future Simple tenses.

  • In the case of the future tense, I think, "Will I have to be there?" or, "Will I have to go there?" would be better than, "Will I have to come there?" – J.R. Dec 29 '14 at 11:42
  • @J.R. I think if the listener is with the speaker, it's better to say "Will I have to go there". However, if the listener is at that particular place (there), it's better to say "Will I have to come there". – Khan Dec 29 '14 at 12:36
  • @Khan - It's odd. One person might say, "I need you to come here" – that's fine – but I'm afraid "Will I have to come there" is not idiomatic English. Maybe something like, "Do you need me to come there" would work. – J.R. Dec 29 '14 at 16:33
  • @J.R - I appreciate your comments but i think it's a controvrsial question. There is a post "I want to come there vs I want to go there" on the site "English Language & Usage" in this regard. – Khan Dec 29 '14 at 17:41

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