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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