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We will probably be in Japan (at/about/around) this time next year.

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
do all the sentences below sound natural?
(a) We will probably be in Japan this time next year.
(b) We will probably be in Japan around this time next year.
(c) We will probably be in Japan about this time next year.
(d) We will probably be in Japan at this time next year.

Hirashin
 

Buntaro

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Yes, but you can make them sound “more” natural:

(a) We are probably going to be in Japan this time next year.
(b) We are probably going to be in Japan around this time next year.
(c) We are probably going to be in Japan about this time next year.
(d) We are probably going to be in Japan at this time next year.

You may also be interested in how these are usually pronounced in an American movie:

(a) We are probably gonna be in Japan this time next year.
(b) We are probably gonna be in Japan around this time next year.
(c) We are probably gonna be in Japan about this time next year.
(d) We are probably gonna be in Japan at this time next year.

In spoken American English, “will” is only used about 20 percent of the time. “Going to” and “gonna” are more common.
 

mdchachi

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Dear native English speakers,
do all the sentences below sound natural?
(a) We will probably be in Japan this time next year.
(b) We will probably be in Japan around this time next year.
(c) We will probably be in Japan about this time next year.
(d) We will probably be in Japan at this time next year.

Hirashin
All sound good and natural to me. I don't necessarily agree that Buntaro's suggestions are "more" natural. These sound perfectly natural.
 
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I would agree with md. And I would say if anything "will" is better, for a few reasons. Firstly, "going to" is more closely associated with a time close to the present, not in a years time, e.g "I'll probably still be here (in this job) in 5 years time!". I think "going to" would sound a bit odd there. "Will" is what we use for predictions, and events a long time in the future are, in most cases, predictions.
Secondly, qualifying "going to" with "probably" sounds a bit odd to me. "Going to" is used for set, already decided, future plans so it sounds odd to use it with "probably" as it would then not be already decided on.
Finally, as the word itself says, "will" is based on your will, or intention, so it makes sense to use it with "probably" because you are indicating that while you intend to do something, it may not necessarily happen. Having said all that, do contract it to "I'll", though. "(I) will" is practically used as often as "(I) do not" yet everybody would always contract "I do not" to "I don't"
Of course, I would agree that in general "going to" is used much more often that "will", and that "will" is overused by non-native speakers, but in these sentences I think "will" is more appropriate.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your help, everyone. I'm relieved to hear that "will" sounds right in my sentences.
 

Buntaro

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Thank you for your help, everyone. I'm relieved to hear that "will" sounds right in my sentences.
Yes, but I want to re-emphasize that this type of use of "will" is a big example of "Japanglish". I hope you will remain committed to always pointing out examples of Japanglish vs. English.
 
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I don't think it's a good example of JapEnglish at all. As I pointed out, for various reasons "will" is a much better choice than "going to" in the context presented here.
 
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