Table of Contents
Future simple tense is used to talk about actions we want to do in the future. To express future actions, we use will and be going to.
- I will wash the dishes in a minute.
- Clothes prices are going to rise in a few months.
How to use will to talk about future actions?
We use will (or the short form ‘ll) followed by base verb.
Will is used with all persons (I, we, you, they, she, he, it).
To make the negative, we use will not (or the short form won’t) before the base verb.
To make questions with will, we shift the order of the subject and will, and we keep the main verb form (base verb).
To make the negative, we add not to the verb be.
To make questions with be going to, we shift the order of the subject and verb be.
What is the difference between will and be going to?
Both will and be going to are used to talk about future actions, but are there any differences between them?
– We use will when we talk about unplanned actions – actions that we decide to do at the time of speaking.
- The box looks heavy. I‘ll help you to carry it.
- Someone is at the door. I will see who it is.
- She is sick so her husband will make her some herbal tea.
– We use will when we talk about promises, hopes, threats, warnings, etc.
- I will bring you a sandwich from the canteen.
- We hope they will fix the machine soon.
- Be careful! You will drop the laptop.
Be going to
– We use be going to when we talk about planned events in the near future.
- They are going to move to another city next month.
- She is going to hold a meeting with the employees on Sunday.
- I have bought these vegetables because I‘m going to cook for my friends.
Both will and be going to can be used to talk about predictions.
Predictions are statements about what we expect will happen in the future.
With predictions, we usually use:
- verbs like think, believe, suppose, expect, etc.
- expressions like be sure, be certain, maybe, etc.
- adverbs like perhaps, probably, certainly, etc.
- I think it will snow in the evening.
- I‘m certain they will help us.
- She will probably arrive tomorrow morning.
– We use be going to when we talk about predictions based on knowledge or evidence
- The sky is cloudy. It‘s going to rain soon.
- The boy is climbing the tree. He‘s going to fall down.
- He is saving some money because he is going to buy a new car.
In the past, shall was used with I and We, while will was used with all the other subjects.
Nowadays, will is more common with all subjects.
Shall is more common in formal use and official documents.
Click here to find out how the present continuous tense can be used to talk about future time.