Suppose i gave a gift to my friend and im talking to myself in my mind

He may be wondering what is in it.

is this correct way of saying or i should say

1.He may be wondering what will/(would) be in it.

2.He might be wondering wha would be in it.

  • Not all those who wander are lost. – tchrist Nov 3 '18 at 12:53
  • As regards whether his curiosity concerns what is / will be / would be / might be in the box, it's syntactically irrelevant whether he may/might be wondering, or actually is wondering. So to some extent I'd say this is two separate questions mashed together. – FumbleFingers Nov 3 '18 at 13:53
  • If he's wondering, he hasn't opened it yet and so the contents are still in it (so it's 'what is'). – Kate Bunting Nov 3 '18 at 14:18
  • What exactly is "it"? Is it the gift? Why would there be anything in it? He should be wondering what it is. Or what's in the box, if a box were mentioned. Or whether it's alive, if he's into quantum mechanics... – michael.hor257k Nov 3 '18 at 14:34

Your original sentence is correct, although unless you’re specifically talking about a parcel that contains something, it would be enough to say “He may be wondering what it is.”

Such sentences follow the rules for reported speech. “You do not need to change the tense if the reporting verb is in the present …”:

He potentially thinks: “What is in it?”

You say: He may be wondering what is in it.

“… or if the original statement is about something that is still true”:

He potentially thought: “What is in it?”

You say: He may have been wondering what was in it. [ - if the gift has since been opened]

Or: He may have been wondering what is in it. [ - if the gift still hasn't been opened]

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