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White Structure


The uses of “will”

It is used to:


1. Talk about actions that have not yet occurred and that will occur in the non-immediate future:


Mike's sure his team will win the championship.

Maria is a good student; she'll pass the test.

2. Express  spontaneous decisions made when speaking:

The phone is ringing. I'll answer it!

I'll call a taxi for you.

I think we'll go right now. (spontaneous decision)

Which dish will you order? I will have the chicken sandwich, please.

3. Make a request in a very polite way:


Will you close the door, please?

Will you bring me my coat, please?

4.  Make predictions, assumptions (I think, I hope, I'm afraid, maybe, probably, perhaps)

I think Sue will arrive in New York around 6 pm.

We will probably need more time to finish this course.

I hope you will be back for our next class.

Sarah hopes she’ll get the job she applied for last week.


5. To make an offer, a promise or a threat.

I  promise I will do my best to help you.

If you say anything about my problem, I will kill you!

I will have the report ready by tomorrow.

I'll drive you to work if you want.

Don't worry, I won't tell anyone.


subject + will + verb + complement

Sarah will live in Canada one day.

Sarah will not (won't) live in Canada one day.

Will Sarah live in Canada one day?

The uses  of "to be going to"

Going to is used to express a near future, something that is more planned  or that we intend to do.

Going to is used to:


1. Express an intention to do something:

I'm going to eat less to try to lose weight.

I'm going to walk three times a week until the summer.


2. Talk about plans for the future:

Peter has decided that he is going to be an engineer when he grows up.

Philip is going to be engaged next month.

When I leave high school, I'm going to study architecture.


3. Express an action that will take place in the near future:

It's very hot today, We are going to sweat a lot.

What are you going to do tonight?

She is going to talk to you in a few minutes.


Subject + to be going to + verb + complement

We are going to buy a new house next month.
Dennis is going to apply for a new job.

We are not ( aren't) going to buy a new house next month.
Dennis is not (isn't) going to apply for a new job.

Are we going to buy a new house next month?
Is Dennis going to apply for a new job?



In many cases we can use both will and going to with exactly the same meaning. However, if we refer to something that is going to happen very soon, we generally opt for the going to form.


Another distinction between will and going to refers to the prior planning or not of the action. Will is used when the speaker decides, at the moment he speaks, to do something in the future and there was no prior planning. However, if the decision had already been made, going to is used.

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