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Guide to Future with Will and Going to

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The Basics: Future with Will:

The future in English can be rather confusing. There are two future forms used in most conversations: the future with 'will' and the future with 'going to'. The main difference between the two forms is that 'going to' is used for plans and intentions made before the moment of speaking, and the 'will' to speak about the future at the moment of speaking. Study these basic forms and then use the referenced resources to practice these forms. Teachers can print out these materials for use in-class, or find help with how to teach future forms, as well as the lesson plans suggested below.

There are two basic future tenses used to describe things that happen in the future. Besides these two there are some other future tenses which can be started on the advanced future tenses page. The first future tense is the future with 'will'. Use the future with will to talk about an event in the future that you have just decided to do, for predictions and for promises.

I think I'll go to that party next week.
The economy will get better soon.
Yes, I will marry you.

The Basics: Future with Going to:

The future with 'going to' is used to express events you have already planned in the future and your intentions for the future. We sometimes also use the present continuous for planned events in the near future.

She's going to attend university and study to become a doctor.
We're going to make the presentation next week.

Future with Will Structure:

Positive

Subject + will + verb

I, You, He, She, We, They will come to the party.

Negative

Subject + will + not (won't) + verb

I, You, He, She, We, They won't have time tomorrow.

Questions

Question word + will + subject + verb

What will he, she, you, we, they do?

Future with Going to Structure:

Positive

Subject + to be + going to + verb

I am going to attend the meeting.
He, She is going to attend the meeting.
You, We, They are going to attend the meeting.

Negative

Subject + to be + not + going to + verb

I'm not going to visit Rome next year.
He, She isn't going to visit Rome next year.
You, We, They aren't going to visit Rome next year.

Questions

(Question word) + to be + subject + going to + verb

Where am I going to stay?
Where is she, he going to stay?
Where are you, we, they going to stay?

Study the Future with Will and Going to in Depth:

Here is an in depth guide to each of the uses of both the future with 'will' and with 'going to' . This page compares and contrasts both forms quickly. Each guide provides situations, common time expressions used with the tense, as well as examples.

These guides to the future with 'will' are designed especially for beginners:

The future with 'will'.
The future with will for predictions about the weather.

Test Your Knowledge of the Future with Will and Going to:

Once you've studied the rules - or if you already know the rules - test your knowledge:

Going to or Will?
Future Forms Quiz for Advanced Learners

Teach a Lesson About the Future with Will and Going to:

This intermediate lesson focuses solely on the future with 'will' and 'going to'. The lesson includes a step by step guide through the lesson and handouts to use in class.

Activities with the Future with Will and Going to:

Some activities that will help you practice:

Planning a Party - Dialogue concentrating on the future with 'will' and 'going to'.
The Meeting - Dialogue with schedules, future plans
The Oregon Weather Forecast - Dialogue with the use of the future with will for predictions, weather vocabulary
Making Plans - Listening comprehension using forms to make future plans
English Tenses Timeline Chart - study how the future forms with will and going to relate to other tenses on a timeline.

Grammar Tools and Games:

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