“Will” & “Going to + verb”

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Welcome to your “Will” & “Going to + Verb” lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• What’s the difference between “Will” & “Going to + Verb”?
Predicting the future
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What’s the difference between “Will” & “Going to + Verb”?

Have a look at these conversations:

James: “Hey, let’s hike to the mountains this weekend.”
Richard: “Great idea, we‘ll invite lots of friends.”

In this conversation, Richard used “Will” to talk about the future. The reason for this is he didn’t decide to do this before he spoke. Compare that conversation with this one:

Richard: “Hey, James and I are going to hike to the mountains this weekend, do you want to come?”
Bob: “Great idea!”

In this conversation, Richard used “be going to”. This is because he decided to do the action before he spoke. Compare these conversations:

“We’re having a party tonight.”
“Really? Great! I‘ll make a cake.”

“We’re having a party tonight.”
“Yes, I know. I‘m going to make a cake.”

Predicting the future

You can use both “Will” and “be going to” to predict the future. Sometimes there isn’t much difference between the two forms:

“I think it‘ll rain this afternoon.”

“I think it‘s going to rain this afternoon.”

The form “be going to” is mostly used when there is evidence to back up your prediction. Have a look at these examples:

“There are big black clouds in the sky, I think it‘s going to rain.”

“I’m almost out of petrol, we‘re not going to make it to town!”

Recap

  • “Will” is used to talk about an unplanned future.
  • “Going to” is used when you have already decided to do something.
  • For predictions, both “will” and “going to” can be used.
  • When you have evidence for your prediction, use “going to“.

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