I am writing an essay and I am not sure whether I should place "will" in this sentence or not.

The experience I will gain living in Panama will assist me in understanding how Central Americans live.

or should it be

The experience I gain living in Panama will assist me in understanding how Central Americans live.

  • Are you applying for a teaching position in Panama? – AHuman Dec 5 '15 at 23:59
  • Hahahahah, not really. I have a couple of friends from there, though. – Curiousstudent Dec 6 '15 at 0:55
  • Well, then just completely disregard the second part of the answer... – AHuman Dec 6 '15 at 3:49

You definitely need the will before gain, because otherwise you are implying that you are currently living in Panama.

If you want to omit one of the uses of will in your sentence, you could replace the second one with can:

The experience I will gain living in Panama can assist me in understanding how Central Americans live.

However, that would slightly change the meaning of the sentence, so you might want to just keep the two uses of will.


Because it appears that you are applying for some position (possibly a Fulbright), you may be better to be less assuming and use could instead of the first instance of will:

The experience I could gain living in Panama would assist me in understanding how Central Americans live.

On a side note, it may be better to be more exact in the last half of your sentence, and mention what exactly you want to know about the Central Americans. As you are probably applying for something like a Fulbright, the readers all ready know that living in this country will help you learn about the people. This means you are wasting half of a sentence that could be used talking about what you specifically want to learn about the people.

  • 1
    I completely disagree that omitting will before gain significantly implies you're currently gaining anything. If that's what you want to say, there's always the experience I am gaining living there.... And in OP's specific context I suspect most native speakers would rather omit that first instance, simply because it sounds clunky to have two will's in the same sentence. Particularly when in all probability they're actually referring to different times in the future (first I'll gain the experience, then that will assist me...). – FumbleFingers Dec 5 '15 at 23:15
  • @FumbleFingers I would generally agree with you, but it appears that the OP is writing an essay to apply for some job or position in Panama (possibly a Fulbright for teaching English). Hence, it is probably better to be less assuming. – AHuman Dec 5 '15 at 23:46
  • I am not applying for a teaching position in Panama, but you are right about what I trying to convey @AHuman. I want to say that the experience I will gain (in the future) will assist me... – Curiousstudent Dec 6 '15 at 0:59
  • @Curiousstudent: We know you're talking about experience you're not yet gaining (as I said, in the unlikely scenario where you were actually referring to current experience, you'd probably use present continuous). The point is that (except for dramatic effect) we don't generally repeat "future markers" unnecessarily. Especially in your exact context, where the understanding lies further in the future than gaining the experience (it's a consequence). – FumbleFingers Dec 6 '15 at 2:14
  • ...it's often convenient to keep the first "future marker" auxiliary verb (I will go and do it, rather than I will go and [I] will do it), but in your case it's more natural to keep the second one, since the first one is contextually unnecessary, and marking the second verb with will helps to underscore that further in the future, in consequence sense. – FumbleFingers Dec 6 '15 at 2:18

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