Saturday, January 19, 2013

Will




In Standard English, habitual events are usually expressed using verbs in the simple present tense, e.g. I go for a jog every morning before heading to work.

In Singapore English, however, this is very often expressed using the modal verb will, as in the example above: During his daily commute to work, Mr Henry Kwok will whip out his Samsung Galaxy Note ... (Straits Times Digital Life supplement, 9 January 2013). This is no doubt an influence from Chinese, which uses 会 (huì) to express habitual events. For a discussion of this, see David Deterding’s book Singapore English (Edinburgh University Press, 2007).

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