Will vs. Going to
'Will' and 'going to' are mainly confused by learners since they talk about predictions and decisions. Learn more about them in this lesson.
What Is Their Main Difference?
'Going to' is a phrase that is paired with the auxiliary verb 'be:' be + going + to. It is used to talk about the past and the future. It is also used to express predictions and future events. Have a look:
Here, we are referring to the past.
Here, we are referring to the future.
We use 'will' and 'going to' to make predictions about the future:
However, there is a small difference between them.
Predictions without Evidence
We use 'will' to make predictions without any certain evidence. These predictions are only based on personal opinions and experiences. For example:
I think Hamilton
She insists that she
Predictions with Evidence
'Going to' is used to make predictions with evidence. These predictions are based on actual evidence that are available at the moment. For instance:
She has a gun, she
The clouds are so grey; it
Expressing Immediate Decisions
We use 'will' to express decisions that are made at the moment of speaking about the future. Take a look:
Expressing Prior Plans
'Going to' is used to talk about future actions or events that were planned in advance. Have a look:
Talking about Facts
We use 'will' to talk about events that will happen in the future and their occurrence is a general fact. For instance:
The pink moon
Talking about Upcoming Events
'Going to' is used to talk about future upcoming events in the future. These events may or may not happen. For example:
Negation and Question
We can create negative sentences with 'going to' and 'will.'
'Will' is a modal verb and therefore when creating a negative sentence, we simply add 'not' to 'will' as illustrated below:
- Will → Will not → Won't
Here are some examples for the negation process:
To create a negative sentence with 'going to,' we simply add 'not' to the auxiliary verb 'be':
- is going to → is not going to → isn't going to
- are going to → are not going to → aren't going to
- was going to → was not going to → wasn't going to
- were going to → were not going to → weren't going to
'Will' and 'going to' can be used to make interrogative forms:
To create wh-questions, we begin with a wh-word such as what, when, where, who, why, and how followed by a 'will,' the subject, and the base form of the main verb. Look at these examples to see this process in action:
We have the same two ways to make questions with 'going to.'
We make yes/no questions, we put the verb 'to be' at the beginning of the sentence, the subject, and the rest of the sentence. For example:
To make wh- question, we start the question with the wh-word, then the verb 'to be,' the subject, 'going to,' and the rest of the sentence. For example: