• Future Tenses - Will vs. Going to
  • lkallan
  • 30.06.2020
  • Englisch
  • C1
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Will vs. Going to Future

The concepts of will and going to future can be very confusing.

They both refer to events in the future and are often interchangable with no difference in meaning.

There are some rules as to when use which form.

English: Grammatical Tenses/Robbie Muffin

Let's first look at how both tenses are created:

Formation

will future: will/will not (won't) + verb

Example: He will swim. He will not/won't swim

going to future: be (am/is/are) + (not) going to + verb

Example: He is going to swim. He is not/isn't going to swim.

Now, let's see when to use will and when to use going to future:

Usage

WILL

Rapid Decision:
I'm hungry. I will buy a sandwhich.

Offer:
That looks difficult. I will help you.

Promise:
Don't worry, I won't tell anyone your secret.

Threat:
I will tell mom if you don't stop!

Refusal:
They will not listen to anything I say.
My car won't start.

GOING TO

Prior Plan - The decision was made before:
I'm going to the lake next week.

Evidence/Signs - It's very likely to happen:
My stomach hurts, I am going to throw up.
It's 7:1. They are going to win.

Very near future - Something is about to happen:
The bomb is going to explode!

WILL or GOING TO

Predictions:
I think it will rain tomorrow. = I think it is going to rain tomorrow.

Will vs. Going to Future

Finally, put your new knowledge to use! :-)

Exercise

1
For each of the 9 premises below, come up with your own fitting sentence (or question) deciding on using either will or going to future!

2. Predictions

6. Evidence/Signs

9. Threat

5. Offer

8. Promise

7. Prior Plan

4. Refusal

3. Rapid Decision

1. Very near future

Try not looking at the table until you are done!

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