Future: “Will” & “Be Going To”
Simple Future has two different forms in English: “will” and “be going to.”
Although the two forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often express two very different meanings.
These different meanings might seem too abstract at first, but with time and practice, the differences will become clear.
Both “will” and “be going to” refer to a specific time in the future.
[will + verb]
- You will help him later.
- Will you help him later?
- You will not help him later.
“Be Going To”[am/is/are + going to + verb]
- You are going to meet Jane tonight.
- Are you going to meet Jane tonight?
- You are not going to meet Jane tonight.
Use “Will” to Express a Voluntary Action
“Will” often suggests that a speaker will do something voluntarily. A voluntary action is one the speaker offers to do for someone else. Often, we use “will” to respond to someone else’s complaint or request for help. We also use “will” when we request that someone help us or volunteer to do something for us. Similarly, we use “will not” or “won’t” when we refuse to voluntarily do something.
- I will send you the information when I get it.
- I will translate the email, so Mr. Smith can read it.
- Will you help me move this heavy table?
- Will you make dinner?
- I will not do your homework for you.
- I won’t do all the housework myself!
- A: I’m really hungry.
B: I‘ll make some sandwiches.
- A: I’m so tired. I’m about to fall asleep.
B: I‘ll get you some coffee.
- A: The phone is ringing.
B: I‘ll get it.