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In korea, it is very common for colleages to go out for dinner after work and visit a karaoke. Everyone ( gets to sing / sings ) one or two songs, but sometimes our manager ( will sing / sings ) for ages by himself until he runs out of steam.

I think using both 'sings' is more common and more familair with me above paragragh, but 'get to sing' and 'will sing' is written on the textbook. Could you let me know the differences?

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    The book's version implies that the manager is consuming more than his share of singing time, but that everyone still has the opportunity to sing once or twice in spite of that. That's my reading, in any case. – Jason Patterson Jan 26 '15 at 13:38
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For the first option, you could select either choice and have a grammatically correct sentence that makes sense. The meaning changes slightly depending on which you choose, though.

Everyone sings one or two songs...

This is the more neutral of the two options. It just gives the facts. I don't know whether everyone wants to sing or not, but everyone does. When the manager sings more songs than everyone else, we don't know if he does that because he (unlike the other people there) loves karaoke more than they do or because he is a manager and no one will deny him the extra songs.

Everyone gets to sing one or two songs...

Here it is clear that everyone who comes to karaoke wants to sing. "Gets to" implies that it is something they like to do, and are given the chance to do. Then it becomes clear that the manager is able to sing more than everyone else because he has a higher position and his employees will not deny him the extra songs.

I suspect that the book wants you to choose the second option for this reason, but either would technically be correct.

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get to do something means - to get an opportunity to do something you would want or like to do.

Let us compare these two sentences

  1. I visit my parents on every weekend.
  2. I don't get to visit my parents on every weekend. (It means I would like to visit them every weekend, but I don't get the time for it, like, because of classes, job, any other committments etc.)

In your example , if you think others don't get much chance to sing when the manager is around then you could say

  1. We could hardly hope to get to sing when he is around. (Because he keeps singing for reasonably long time and leaves others little time to sing.)

More examples

  1. It's a really big deal to get to shake hands with the president of America.
  2. We very rarely get to see this kind of an inning in cricket.
  3. We might get to go out for a picnic if it doesn't rain.
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gets to sing means everybody are given a chance to sing. While sings means that they will sing a song. The difference is made by 'gets to' . So, the reason behind using gets to sing must be that everyone are given a chance i.e. they are voluntarily participating. If you still have a doubt ask it in comments.

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  • I'm saying sings imply involuntarily participation. – MihirUj Jan 26 '15 at 15:44
  • 1) Are you trying to arguing with me in my every post and finding my little mistakes. Yes i did make a mistake [content removed by moderator] 2) and i believe my answer is perfectly right. Don't keep arguing with me. – MihirUj Jan 26 '15 at 17:18
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    I'm not arguing with you, I'm trying to help you write a better answer. I correct grammar mistakes wherever I see them on ELL, and I likewise appreciate when folks point out my typos and mistakes, because it is easy to accidentally mislead learners. If this was StackOverflow, I wouldn't correct your grammar but I would certainly point out any problems in your code. – ColleenV Jan 26 '15 at 17:37
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    @ColleenV is quite right that "Gets to sing" doesn't imply that they are involuntarily participating. In fact I'd go a lot further than that and say it strongly implies they're voluntarily participating. If you get to do something, that almost always means you both had the chance to do it, and wanted to do it. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 26 '15 at 18:33
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    user3461086 - Careful here. I think your comment to @ColleenV falls under the category of "overtly snide, rude, or hostile comments to their fellow users". Thanks to Colleen's astute catch, you've changed your answer from involuntary to voluntary. A simple "thank you" would have been a more fitting response; please be more gracious in the future. – J.R. Jan 26 '15 at 23:48
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As no other answerers have addressed the second instance, let me just say that there is nothing wrong with "sings" for that instance. "sings" matches present tense with the earlier "sings/gets to sing".

If the book claims you need "will" to indicate that the manager is in the habit of, or insists on singing, the book is trying to enforce some rule that is certainly not relevant in contemporary AmE usage. (I can't speak as to whether BrE has such a rule.)

In America if we mean to say he is in the habit of singing a lot, we might say "usually"; if he insists on it, we say he "insists on singing". But in America, "will" in that sentence sounds like misused future tense!

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