The Future Tense: ‘will’ vs. ‘going to’
There are different ways to talk about the future
will vs. (be) going to
‘Will’ is used for:
1. predictions (what you think will happen)
2. something decided right now
3. something about which you are 100% sure
‘Am/Is/Are going to’ is used for:
1. Predictions (something you think will happen)
2. Plans (things you want to do)
3. Things for which there is evidence of them happening (you can see it is going to happen)
Examples of ‘will’
Tomorrow the weather will be hot and sunny
I think she will be a toilet cleaner
I think Aberdeen will lose at football.
I’m hungry. I think I will make a sandwich.
The teacher hasn’t come to class; I think I’ll go home.
“Who will drive me to the station?” “I’ll do it.”
If you ask her to marry you, I’m sure she‘ll say yes.
I can tell you with 100% certainty I will not fail that exam.
I can guarantee Santa will be good to the kids this year.
Examples of ‘(be) going to’
Tomorrow the weather is going to be hot and sunny. Again.
I think she isn’t going to be a toilet cleaner; she’s too lazy.
I think Aberdeen are going to lose at football. Again.
I’m going to go to the shop. Want anything?
They’re going to meet us at the cinema.
He’s going to ask her to marry him (again).
The glass is too close to the edge of the table. It’s going to fall.
There are a lot of clouds in the sky. It’s going to rain.
Ahhhh! We’re going to crash!
Another way (1): the Present Continuous Tense
The present continuous tense (am/is/are …ing) is used for plans that have already been made.
Tomorrow night I’m staying at a small hotel on the beach.
We’re going to grandma’s, and on the way we’re stopping at grandpa’s.
Next term the Grade 1s are reading a new book: Ulysses.
Another way (2): the Simple Present Tense
The simple present tense is used for events that are planned and cannot be changed.
Your party is on Tuesday? I’m sorry, I go to Japan on Monday.
We play football on Monday, so you can see him then.
Dinner is at 6, so don’t be late.
1. Talk about the future using each of the methods to use ‘will’ and ‘going to’.
2. Use ‘going to’ to talk about your plans for:
(i) this weekend
(iii) the next year
3. Use the present continuous tense for any scheduled plans you have made for the next week.
4. Use the present simple for any plans that you have that cannot be changed.