Let’s revise will vs be going to.

Exam in Mind Level B1

To express a  PREDICTION: Use either WILL or  BE GOING TO

When the speaker is making a prediction (a statement about something he/she thinks will be true or will occur in the future), either will or be going to is possible.

There is no difference in meaning between such sentences as:

  • According to the weather report, it will be cloudy tomorrow. According to the weather report, it is going to be cloudy tomorrow.
  • Be careful! You’ll hurt yourself! Watch out! You’re going to hurt yourself!

To express a PRIOR PLAN: Use only BE GOING TO

When the speaker is expressing a prior plan (something the speaker intends to do in the future because in the past he/she has made a plan or decision to do it), only be going to is used:

  • Why did you buy this paint? – I’m going to paint my bedroom tomorrow.
  • I talked to Bob yesterday. He is tired of taking the bus to work. He’s going to buy a car. That’s what he told me.
  • Are you busy this evening? – Yes, I’m going to meet Jack at the library at seven. We’re going to study together.

To express WILLINGNESS: Use only WILL

The phone is ringing. – I’ll get it. (The speaker is saying “I am willing. I am happy to get the phone.”  He is not making a prediction. He has made no prior plan to answer the phone. He is, instead, volunteering to answer the phone and uses will to show his willingness.

Have practice WILL vs BE GOING TO

 Task 1. Expressing predictions. Use will and/or be going to with the verb in parentheses.

  1.  Sue (graduate) will graduate / is going to graduate in June. After that, she (begin) will begin / is going to begin work at an electronics firm.
  2. Fred (be) ________________ at the meeting tomorrow. I think Jane (come) ________________ too.
  3. Can you give Ed a message for me? – Sure. I (see, probably) ________________ at the meeting this evening.
  4. Mr. Swan (be, not) ________________ here next term. He has resigned. Who (be) ________________ the new teacher? Do you know? – Yes. Ms. Mary Jefferson (teach) ________________ the same courses Mr. Swan taught: English, algebra, and geometry. I (be) ________________in her algebra class.
  5. In what ways (the damage we do to our environment today, affect) ________________the quality of life for future generations?

Task 2. Expressing prior plan vs. willingness. Use be going to if you think the speaker is expressing a prior plan. If you think he/she has no prior plan, use will.

  1.  This letter is in French, and I don’t speak French. Can you help me? – Sure. I (translate) will translate it for you.
  2. Do you want to go shopping with me? I (go) am going to go to the shopping mall downtown. – Sure. What time do you want to leave?
  3. Who wants to erase the board? – I (do) ________________ it.
  4. Why does he have an eraser in his hand? – He (erase) ________________ the board.
  5. How about getting together for dinner after work? – Sounds good. Where? – How about Alice’s Restaurant or the Gateway Café? You decide. – Alice’s Restaurant. I (meet) ________________ you there around six.
  6. Do you have plans for dinner? – Yes. I (meet) ________________ a co-worker for dinner at Alice’s Restaurant. Want to join us?
  7. This light doesn’t work. The bulb is probably burned out. Do we have any new light bulbs? – I (get) ________________ one for you. – Thanks.
  8. I (enroll) ________________ in the community college next spring. – Oh? I didn’t know you wanted to go back to school. – I need to sharpen my skills so I can get a better job. I (take) ________________ a course in word processing.
  9. Uh, oh! I’ve spilled coffee on my shirt! – Just a minute. I (get) ________________ a damp cloth for you.
  10. Janice, do you want to come with us? – I can’t. I have to study. – Oh, c’mon! You can’t study all day and all night. – All right, I (go) ________________ with you. I guess I can finish this stuff tomorrow.
  11. I (sell) ________________my bicycle. I have to. – What? Why? You need your bicycle to get to work. – I know. But I need money right now to pay for my baby’s doctor and medicine. I can walk to work.
  12. How do you spell “accustomed”? – I’m not sure. I (look)________________ it up for you. – Thanks. – Here it is. It has two c’s but only one “m”.