Your friend is going abroad. You want to know if it's possible for you to see them next year. You ask them one of these questions:

  • Am I going to see you next year?
  • Would I see you next year?
  • Will I see you next year?
  • ... (If you know other ways to ask this question, please add it)

Will you questions are not included, because they are about your friend's intention, not about a future possibility.

What are the differences between these structures? In what context should each one be used?

2 Answers 2


Here's a quick breakdown: - Am I going to see you next year? (This could be asking for the person's intention, plan, or even prediction.) - Would I see you next year? (This sounds like a conditional; the person may or may not go abroad, e.g., If you went abroad, would I see you next year?) - Will I see you next year? (One meaning here could be asking for the person to decide at that moment or make a promise.) - Will I be seeing you next year? (Another way of asking about the person's plans or intentions.)

Quick tip: Remember that "will" is usually used for predictions, promises, at-the-moment decisions, offers, and itineraries. However, "will be + present participle" can be used for plans, similar to "be going to."

By the way, none of the examples are in the passive voice. Passive would be something like this: Am I going to be seen by you tomorrow? I could imagine asking a doctor this question. I hope this was helpful!

  • Regarding Would I ... : in the situation depicted in the original post, there's no doubt that the person is going abroad. So it'd mean something like: Do you think I would see you next year? How possible is that?
    – Færd
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 3:39
  • Am I going to see you next year?
  • Would I see you next year?
  • Will I see you next year?

All three are grammatically correct; however, their main differences are (respectively):

  • Uses progressive tense, which emphasizes the "going" rather than the "seeing." You would use this if you wanted to imply that your friend lives far away.
  • Awkward--when "would" is used with "I," it usually means you answer your own question. For example, I might say, "Would you pass the salt," but saying "Would I pass the salt" is much more awkward.
  • Similar to the first sentence; however, it does not imply that your friend is living far away unlike the first sentence.

All in all, I would usually use the 1st sentence depending on the context as given above.

  • Nice breakdown of the responses, but I'm not sure that I agree that the first sentence is in the passive voice. It is fundamentally similar to "I am going to see you" which is in the active voice; compare to "I am running for president" or "I am eating cake." This is an example of the present progressive tense.
    – Nonnal
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 0:32
  • Sorry about that, fixed.
    – AMACB
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 2:13

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