Will vs Going to: Future forms, exercise

Will vs Going to

“Going to” and “Will”: Rules for using them in practice

In English, there are several ways to express future events, two of which are the common and frequently used constructions with “will” and “be going to”. These constructions are used to express different types of future actions and plans. Let’s look at their distinctive features and usage.

Going to is used when we talk about plans and intentions. It’s also used when there are signs that something will happen in the future. For example:

  • I am going to study English tomorrow.
  • Look at those clouds! It’s going to rain soon.

In these examples, “going to” is used to express planned actions and events that we can see are going to happen.

Will is used to predict future events without any prior signs or when we make a decision at the moment of speaking. For example:

  • I think it will be sunny later.
  • If you are cold, I will close the window.

Using “will”, we talk about predicting the future without prior signs and for spontaneous decisions.

In this article, we will look at the rules for using “going to” and “will”, as well as practice your skills with exercises.

Using “will” in English: Rules and examples

In English, the “will” construction is used to express different aspects of future events. Let’s look in more detail at how and when “will” is used:

Decisions, Predictions, and Opinions About the Future:

  • Used when a decision is made at the moment of speaking or when expressing a prediction based on an opinion or assumption.
    • Example: “I think she will arrive soon.”
    • Example: “I will call you later with more details.”

Future Facts:

  • Used to express facts that will occur in the future.
    • Example: “The sun will rise at 6:30 tomorrow.”

Promises, Refusals, Requests, and Offers:

  • Used to express promises, requests, refusals, or offers.
    • Example: “I will help you with your project.”
    • Example: “Will you pass me the salt, please?”
    • Example: “I won’t attend the party tonight.”
    • Example: “Will you marry me?”

Expressing General Future Situations:

  • Used to describe general rules or habits in the future.
    • Example: “She will always help those in need.”

Forecasting and Beliefs:

  • Used to express forecasts or beliefs about the future, especially when talking about natural phenomena or understanding relationships.
    • Example: “I’m sure they will win the game tomorrow.”
    • Example: “I believe it will snow this winter.”

Thus, the “will” construction in English has a wide range of applications for expressing future events, decisions, promises, and beliefs. Learning this rule helps to use English confidently in different situations and understand the nuances of expressive communication.

Using “going to” in English: Rules and examples

In English, the “going to” construction is used to express future events and plans. Let’s look in more detail at how and when “going to” is used:

Plans and Intentions Based on Predictable Information:

  • Used to express plans and intentions based on certain predictable information or evidence at the time of speaking.
    • Example: “She is going to study abroad next year.”

Plans and Decisions Made Before the Conversation:

  • “Going to” is used when a plan or decision was made before the moment of speaking. This is very similar to the first rule.
    • Example: “I’m going to travel to Europe next summer.”
    • Example: “She’s going to start her new job next month.”

Predictions Based on Present Circumstances:

  • “Going to” is used to express future events or outcomes based on what we see or hear now.
    • Example: “Look at those dark clouds. It’s going to rain.”
    • Example: “He’s coughing a lot. He’s going to catch a cold.”

Plans or Actions Already Prepared or Intended:

  • “Going to” is used to express plans or actions that have already been prepared for or intended.
    • Example: “She’s going to take a cooking class next week.”
    • Example: “We’re going to buy a new car this year.”

Expressing Strong Intention or Certainty:

  • “Going to” can express strong intention or certainty about a future event.
    • Example: “I’m going to ace this exam!”
    • Example: “We’re going to have a great time at the party.”

Differences between “will” and “be going to”

  • “Will” is used to express spontaneous decisions, promises, and predictions.
  • “Be going to” is used to express plans and actions based on certain circumstances or preparation.

Both of these ways of expressing the future tense are important for understanding and using English at an everyday level. Depending on the context of the sentence and our intentions, we can choose between “will” and “be going to” to more accurately convey our thoughts about future events.

Practice exercise for using “will” and “going to”

Practice is the best way to learn the rules for using “will” and “going to”. Try to check your understanding of the material. Practice using them, understand the context, and learn to draw the right conclusions about the future.

Will vs Going to

Practice. Going to and will (quiz, test)

“Alison’s on the phone for you.”
“Can she call back? I ____ a bath.”

“Can I speak to Marco?”

“Hold on. I _____ him.”

Come back in the morning, ______?

A: Did you get my fax?
B: No, I didn’t.
A: OK, I _____ it again.

"Do you need any help with your project?"

"Yes, I think I _____ some assistance."

“I _____ to the supermarket.”
“Oh, ____? I think I _____ with you.”

“Coffee or tea?”

“I ____ tea, please.”

"We should call Emma." "Good idea, I _____ her right now."

“Has Amy got any plans for the weekend?”
“Yes, she _____ her grandparents.

“I _____ out now, Mum. Bye!”
“OK. Have a good time. What time _____ home?”

"The car is running low on fuel."

"I _____ to the gas station after work."

Sarah: 'I won't listen to you any more.'
Paul: '____'

“I’m cold.”

“I _____ the heating on.”

Your score is


More complex practice in the article: What are the differences between “Will” and “Going to” in practice

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