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What is the difference between the following:

It depends on how soon I get my visa.

It depends on how soon I will get my visa.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

"Will" implies something is going to happen in the future (in this case, getting your visa). But it's unnecessary in the first sentence: "how soon" provides enough context that you don't need the word "will." Like rudra, I'd interpret both sentences as conveying the same meaning. In fact, I might also suggest:

It depends on when I get my visa.

as that would essentially mean the same thing, too.

However, if you were asking the question:

"How soon will I get my visa?"

then the "will" is necessary. (You wouldn't say, "How soon I get my visa?")

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How come a simple present structure be used in this context? If you could elaborate on it as the event is something that doesn't seem to fit in a simple present context. –  Noah Jun 6 '12 at 12:59
    
It's all in the use of "how soon" (or "when"), and the pronoun "it." What if I asked you to replace "it" with what the "it" stands for? In that case, you might say something like, "When I will buy my ticket depends on how soon I get my visa" or "I will buy my ticket sometime after I get my visa." (Aha! That's where the future tense is buried in this sentence). –  J.R. Jun 6 '12 at 14:45

As Andrew Leach said in a comment, it is not usual in English to use "will" as an auxiliary in an embedded temporal or concessive clause. You usually see this with "when" and "if", but this is also a kind of temporal clause.

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+1. For mentioning temporal or concessive clauses. –  Noah Jun 6 '12 at 16:36

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