be going to

We are always confused when we have to choose between ‘Will’ and ‘be going to’, so let's clarify when do we use these tenses and what’s the difference between them..

 

We use the future simple for:

• future facts

• events considered certain, predictions based on opinions

• decisions made at the time of speaking

• offers / requests / threats / warnings.

 

We use ‘be going to’ when we talk about:

• something we intend to do in the future that is certain

• predictions based on evidence.

 

Note the difference between Future Simple and ‘Be going to’ for predictions:

• we use ‘will’ to express our opinion about something that we believe will happen (we use phrases like I think, I know, I believe, I’m sure, I’m afraid etc)

• we use ‘be going to’ when we predict something based on a present situation, when we have a proof about it

 

Complete the sentences using ‘will’ or ‘be going to’: 

1. Mum: We don’t have any more milk. 

Dad: I know. I __________________ buy some from the supermarket. 

2. Mum: We don’t have any more milk.

Dad: Really? I __________________ buy some from the supermarket then.

3. A: Mum: Why do you need to buy winter clothes? 

B: I __________________ visit Iceland next month. 

4. A: I’m really hot. B: I __________________ turn the heating off.

5. Brother: Are you going to our parents on Sunday?

Sister. Are you going too? I __________________ give you a lift. 

6. A: What are your plans for the summer holiday? 

B: I __________________ work in a summer school to teach English. 

7. (The doorbell rings) I __________________ open it! 

8. I am sure he ______________ disappoint us. 

9. I bet he __________ be late again. 

10. Look at that ship! It __________ sink. 

11. I ______________ go out this evening. 

 

Answers:

  1. ’m going to
  2. ‘ll buy
  3. am going to visit
  4. will
  5. will
  6. am going to
  7. ‘ll
  8. won’t
  9. will
  10. is going to
  11. am going to

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