Exercise 1

Choose the correct forms of will and be going to to complete the sentences below.

1 A: We don’t have any bread.     B: I know. I some. I took some money from your purse.

2 A: We don’t have any bread.     B: Really? I some from the shop then.

3 A: Why do you need to borrow my suitcase?     B: Because I my mother in Scotland next month.

4 A: I’m really cold.     B: I the heating on.

5 A: What are your plans after you leave university?     B: I in a hospital in Africa.

6 A: All the lights have gone off!     B: Don't worry. I a look.

7 A: Why are you carrying your laptop?     B: I some homework on the train.

8 A: I can't find my keys.     B: I you look for them.

9 A: Did you remember to buy the tickets?     B: Oh no, I forgot! I them online now.

10 If you take a look at this graphic, you can see that the economy worse very soon.


 

 

Forms

 
will vs be going to
 

Predictions

 
Use will to talk about something that you think will happen.

  • I think he’ll win the election.
  • He will be a good doctor.

Use be going to to talk about something that you see is going to happen (there is present evidence).

  • Don’t drive like a crazy man. We’re going to have an accident!
  • The doctor said I’m going to have a girl.

Sometimes there’s little difference between will  and be going to for predictions. Compare:

  • The conference starts in 10 minutes. We are going to be late. (=I can see that we cannot be at the conference in 10 minutes)
  • We need to hurry up. We’ll be late for the conference. (=I think we will be late)

 

Decisions

 
Use will for decisions that you take at the moment of speaking (instant decisions).

  • ‘Oh, we don’t have sugar.’ ‘Don’t worry, I’ll buy some.’

Use be going to for decisions that you have already taken at the moment of speaking (intentions or plans).

  • ‘Why are you undressing?’ ‘Because I’m going to go for a swim.’

Compare these two sentences:

  • ‘Sarah said she needs to talk to you.’ ‘Oh, I didn’t know. I’ll call her in a minute.’ (=I took the decision while having this conversation.)
  • ‘Sarah said she needs to talk to you.’ ‘Yes, I know. I’m going to call her in a minute.‘ (=I took the decision before having this conversation.)

 


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