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Simple Future & be going to

by | Mar 22, 2020 | Verb Tenses | 0 comments

There are a number of different ways in English to talk about the future. By using the “will” and “be going to” structures, a speaker can refer to a specific time in the future. In this lesson you’ll learn the differences between the two.

How to use “will” for Simple Future

1. Use “will” to express decisions made at the time of speaking

Example:

  • I didn’t know you were hungry. I will make you a sandwich.

2. Use “will” with words such as maybe, probably, I think, I hope – to express uncertainty.

Example:

  • I think I’ll just stay here and drink

3. Use “will” for predictions that are not arranged or decided.

Example:

  • The world will be very different in 2500.

How to use “be going to”

1. Use “be going to” when a future activity has been previously planned.

Example:

  • I am going to be a doctor after I finish university.

2. Use the “be going to” structure if an action, activity or event will definitely happen.

Example:

  • She is going to have a baby.

3. Use it for predictions that are likely to come true (there is evidence for it)

Example:

  • It’s going to rain. (You can see the black clouds already)

Simple Future – Sentence Structures (Will)

Affirmative Sentence Structure:

Subject Auxiliary verb Main verb Rest of the sentence
I/You/He/She/It
We/You/They
will call you when I arrive.

Negative Sentence Structure:

Subject Auxiliary Verb + NOT Main verb Rest of the sentence
I/You/He/She/It
We/You/They
will not call you when I arrive.

Interrogative Sentence Structure:

Auxiliary Verb Subject Main verb Rest of the sentence
Will I/You/He/She/It
We/You/They
call when I arrive?
You may use ‘shall’ instead of ‘will’ in 1st person singular (I) and 1st person plural (we).

Sentence Structures (be going to)

Affirmative Sentence Structure:

Subject be going to Main verb Rest of the sentence
I am going to drive all the way to California.
You are going to drive all the way to California.
He / She / It is going to drive all the way to California.
We / You / They are going to drive all the way to California.

Negative Sentence Structure:

Subject be + NOT going to Main verb Rest of the sentence
I am not going to drive all the way to California.
You are not going to drive all the way to California.
He / She / It is not going to drive all the way to California.
We / You / They are not going to drive all the way to California.

Interrogative Sentence Structure:

Be Subject going to Main verb Rest of the sentence
Am I going to drive all the way to California?
Are you going to drive all the way to California?
Is he/she/it going to drive all the way to California?
Are we/you/they going to drive all the way to California?

Related tenses

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