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Why is the simple future used in the following sentence instead of the simple present?

A client software will not transfer files.

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Cuz it states that files will not be transfered in the future instead of present!? –  Anderson Silva Dec 19 '10 at 18:05
3  
Because the sentence presumes that the user has not attempted the transfer yet, and is warning that such an attempt will fail. This is the form used with many warnings. "Failure to comply will result in punishment" warns about future consequences for future actions. On the other hand, as given, your statement could be a complaint lodged by someone who expected the software to transfer files but was disappointed when it did not. It depends on the context. Did you read the sentence in a user manual or in an online complaint forum? –  Robusto Dec 19 '10 at 18:19
    
@Robusto: It's the example of the sentences when speaker already attempted to do something, he already tried the software and encountered failures, now he reported what happens providing some other details. –  Yasir Arsanukaev Dec 20 '10 at 0:48
    
Nitpick: 'Software' is a mass noun, so you should say a piece of client software rather than a client software. –  Jez Jul 10 '11 at 20:38

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I don't think this example is future tense, because it is a description of the current state of the software (per the comment that a user tried the software and reported this error). The software doesn't transfer files at this moment, but it is expected that it should. The use of will not here indicates the modality. (Note: futurity may or may not be implied, as the software probably won't transfer files in the future as well).

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Will is used to say what always happens in a particular situation or what is generally true.

Humankind will question the reason for its existence.

In informal English, will is also used to describe someone's habits, especially when you think they are annoying.

Most three-year olds will go on yelling until they get what they want.

In the example in the question, will may have been used to denote that something always happens or that it is annoying.

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Will can be used to refer to things that do not work, or a person who refuses to do something:

My car won't start

A client software will not transfer file is similar, I think, in that it doesn't do what you want it to do.

Other examples: She won't talk to me or I keep telling him but he won't / will not listen.

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Because what is important to the person reporting the problem is that they believe the software will not, at any time in the near future, do what they want it to do.

Presumably this is based on evidence of what it has failed to do in the near past (or present). The person has some work that they need to accomplish in the near future and believe they will not be able to accomplish this using the software.

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