A. Future actions
Study the difference between will and going to:
Sue is talking to Helen: Let’s have a party.
Helen: That’s a great idea. We’ll invite lots of people
will (‘ll): We use will when we decide to do something at the time of speaking. The speaker has not decided before. The party is a new idea.
Later that day, Helen meets Dave:
Helen: Sue and I have decided to have a party. I We’re going to invite lots of people.
going to: We use (be) going to when we have already decided to do something. Helen had already decided to invite lots of people before she spoke to Dave.
‘George phoned while you were out.’ ‘OK. I’ll phone him back.’
but ‘George phoned while you were out.’ ‘Yes, I know. I’m going to phone him back.’
‘Ann is in hospital.’ ‘Oh really? I didn’t know. I’ll go and visit her.’
but ‘Ann is in hospital.’ ‘Yes, I know. I’m going to visit her tomorrow.’
B Future happenings and situations (predicting the future)
Sometimes there is not much difference between will and going to. For example, you can say:
- I think the weather will be nice later.
- I think the weather is going to be nice later.
When we say ‘something is going to happen’, we know (or think) this because of the situation now.
- Look at those black clouds. It’s going to rain. (not ‘it will rain’ — we can see the clouds now)
- I feel terrible. I think I’m going to be sick. (not ‘I think I’ll be sick’.- I feel terrible now)
Do not use will in situations like these.
In other situations, it is safer to use will:
- Tom will probably arrive at about 8 o’clock.
- I think Ann will like the present we bought for her.
1 Complete the sentences using will (‘ll) or going to.
- A: Why are you turning on the television?
- B: I’m going to watch the news. (I/watch)
- A: Oh, I’ve just realised. I haven’t got any money.
- B: Haven’t you? Well, don’t worry. ________________________________ you some. (I/lend)
- A: I’ve got a headache.
- B: Have you? Wait there and _______________________________ an aspirin for you. (I/get)
- A: Why are you filling that bucket with water?
- B: ______________________________________ the car. (I/wash)
- A: I’ve decided to repaint this room.
- B: Oh, have you? What colour ______________________________________ it? (you/paint)
- A: Where are you going? Are you going shopping?
- B: Yes,______________________________________ something for dinner. (I/buy)
- A: I don’t know how to use this camera.
- B: It’s quite easy. ______________________________________ you. (I/show)
- A: What would you like to eat?
- B: ______________________________________ a sandwich, please. (I/have)
- A: Did you post that letter for me?
- B: Oh, I’m sorry. I completely forgot. __________________________________ it now. (I/do)
- A: The ceiling in this room doesn’t look very safe, does it?
- B: No, it looks as if______________________________________ down. (it/fall)
- A: Has George decided what to do when he leaves school?
- B: Oh, yes. Everything is planned. __________________________ a holiday for a few weeksand then ___________________________ a computer programming course, (he/have, he/do)
2 Read the situations and complete the sentences using will (‘ll) or going to.
1 The phone rings and you answer. Somebody wants to speak to Jim.
CALLER: Hello. Can I speak to Jim, please?
YOU: Just a moment. ______________________________________ him. (I/get)
2 It’s a nice day. You’ve decided to sit in the garden. Before going outside, you tell your friend.
YOU: The weather’s too nice to stay indoors. ______________________ in the garden. (I/sit)
FRIEND: That’s a good idea. I think ______________________________________ you. (I/join)
3 Your friend is worried because she has lost an important letter.
YOU: Don’t worry about the letter. I’m sure _____________________________ it. (you/find)
FRIEND: I hope so.
4 There was a job advertised in the paper recently. At first you were interested but then you decided not to apply.
FRIEND: Have you decided what to do about that job that was advertised?
YOU: Yes,______________________________________ for, it. (I/not/apply)
5 You and a friend come home very late. Other people in the house are asleep. Your friend is noisy.
YOU: Shhh! Don’t make so much noise. ____________________ everybody up. (you/wake)
6 John has to go to the airport to catch a plane tomorrow morning.
JOHN: Ann, I need somebody to take me to the airport tomorrow morning.
ANN: That’s no problem. ______________________ you. (I/take) What time is your flight?
ANN: OK. ____________________________________ at about 9 o’clock then. (we/leave)
Later that day, Joe offers to take John to the airport.
JOE: John, do you want me to take you to the airport?
JOHN: No thanks, Joe. _____________________________________ me. (Ann/take)