"Quiet! We eat when I say we eat!" "OK, we wait for your say-so."

Why can we omit the first "will" in sentences such as:

"We will eat when I say so!"
"We will eat, when I say 'we eat'!"
"We will eat when I say we will eat!"

  • What do we call this?
  • Does it change the meaning?
  • Are both correct?
  • Are there examples in which one can be used, while the other cannot?

I search and see several examples of this in books and movie quotes.


I perceive

We eat when I say we eat !

As a general "rule" set up by the person, which does not not necessarily apply only to the near future. It conveys a sense of "I'm the boss and we do things when I say we do !"

I don't know for sure if your other sentence is grammatically incorrect, but it sure doesn't sound good. You could say:

We will eat when I say so !

Which sounds a lot better, and seems to concern only the upcoming meal.

  • 1
    What you say sounds correct. "We will eat" somehow refers to the upcoming meal and "We eat" to all meals, as if the speaker is establishing a rule. – thorr18 May 27 '16 at 12:19

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