There are many ways to talk about prediction in English. In this article, we want to learn how to predict future events.

Talking about "Prediction" in the English Grammar

How to Talk about Prediction?

The verb 'predict' means to guess future events in the present time by using some 'expressions' or 'words' like modals and semi-modals. Predictions might become true over time and sometimes they cannot happen. In this lesson, we will learn how to talk about predicting something. Here are all the verbs that can represent predictions on the list.

  1. will
  2. would
  3. should
  4. be going to


We can use the modal verb 'will' to talk about almost every future prediction.

Will: Uses

Here are the cases that the modal verb 'will' can be used to talk about future prediction.

1. Prediction in the Future

The modal verb 'will' can be used to talk about things that you think are going to happen. The modal verb 'will' has its own rules to be used. We will discuss this later in this article.

The wedding will be in July the third.

The news announcer will announce the murderer.

2. Prediction in the Past (Would)

The modal verb 'would' is the past tense of the verb 'will.' As a result, we can use the modal verb 'would' in the past tense to talk about the future events that were supposed to happen in the future. But at the time of talking, they may have happened or not.

I thought it would snow by new year's eve.

They all believed the correct answer would be number 4.

Will and Would: Structure

'Will' and 'would' both are modal verbs that do not change form with all the pronouns and subjects. And to make them 'negative,' we add the term 'not' directly to them.

I won't pass the test. (will not = won't)

I would not stay for several weeks in china. (would not = wouldn't)

Be Going to

using 'going to' to talk about prediction

The expression 'be going to' is used in both present and past tenses to predict things that we think are true (in the present) or when we say they might have been true (in the past).

She is going to have a slumber party.

I think they were going to marry.

Using Be Going to in the Past

As you know, we can use the past tense of the verb be in the structure of the expression 'be going to' to refer to a prediction in a past period of time. Check out the examples.

She was going to buy the carrots for the soup.

They were going to go to the big party of his brother.

What Is the Difference between Will and Be Going to?

When it comes to prediction, usually, 'be going to' is used for more solid plans. We mean there is usually evidence that based on them, we predict something.

The sky is dark. It is going to rain.

We will be in Chicago next month.


You can use the modal verb should to talk about expectations or predictions. Using should to talk about prediction is usually based on the evidence or events that are seen. Remember, should is a modal verb, so, you have to use a bare infinitive after it.

It should be snowing. The weather is really cold.

You should be the bride's father, right?


People tend to use the present continuous tense and the present simple tense to talk about predictions about the future. Remember, this is wrong. We use the present simple to talk about timetables and present continuous to talk about arrangements.


We can use the verbs be going to, will, and would to talk about predictions. Would is the past tense of will. Take a look at the table below.

will not too sure about the prediction
be going to almost sure about the prediction


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