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Be yourself, whatever others think

hirashin

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Dear native English teachers,
which sentences do you ever use?
(a) Be yourself, whatever others think.
(b) Be yourself, whatever others will/may think.
(c) Be yourself, whatever others will/may think of you.
(d) Be yourself, whatever others will/may think about you.

Thanks in advance.

Hirashin
 

johnnyG

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(a) is fine, and I prefer may in the others.

(a) implies "may"--it has just been elided for brevity.
 

joadbres

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For all of these, you could replace "whatever others ... think" with "no matter what others ... think" or "regardless of what others ... think". To me, these phrases are slightly more natural in this context.
 

hirashin

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Thanks, johnnyG and joadbres.

For all of these, you could replace "whatever others ... think" with "no matter what others ... think" or "regardless of what others ... think". To me, these phrases are slightly more natural in this context.
Is it that these are more natural?
(e) Be yourself, no matter what others (may) think.
(f) Be yourself, regardless of what others (may) think.

Is "may" optional? Would "will" be used instead of "may"?
 

joadbres

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Is it that these are more natural?
(e) Be yourself, no matter what others (may) think.
(f) Be yourself, regardless of what others (may) think.

Is "may" optional? Would "will" be used instead of "may"?
When I wrote "for all of these" in my previous post, I was referring to all of (a), (b), (c), and (d). In other words, my recommendation to replace the "whatever others ... think" part with either of the two alternate phrases I suggested is applicable to all four sentences.

As for your new questions, "what others think", "what others may think" and "what others will think" are all OK to use, but they have different nuances. For example, "what others will think" implies something that will happen in the future, whereas the other versions do not have such a strong implication of a future occurrence.

I think that the version with "may" is the most natural, but you can use any of them.

When you ask these kinds of questions, think about Japanese. Surely the same thing is true where there are multiple different ways to say things, any of which might be said by a native speaker, but some versions are more natural or sound better than others. All languages are like that.
 
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