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How to Talk About the Future (RealLife English)

Most English learners strongly associate future with WILL, but here is news, WILL is not the most common way to talk about the future. On this video we will see the general difference between WILL and GOING TO (= GONNA).

          How People Learn it at School

So, most English learners learn at school that to conjugate to the future in English, you just add will plus the infinitive. So, I will go to the party, for example.

          The Problem and How to Avoid it

But, in general, English learners tend to overuse will. In English, we don’t really use will that much, although there are cases where it is very necessary. What’s more common is to say going to, or even more common is gonna, which is where we take going to and we put it together and say gonna when we actually speak. Not so much in formal writing, though.

          When we use Going to

So, we use going to a lot more, as I said. We use this when we’re talking about something in the future that we’re pretty certain about, maybe we’re not 100% certain about it, but we’re fairly certain about it.

          Example

So, for example, the difference between “I will go to the party tomorrow” and “I’m going to go to the party tomorrow” is that when you say “I will go to the party tomorrow,” you’re probably going to say it with a word like I think, I hope, probably, maybe, etc.

So, I will probably go to the party tomorrow, I think I will go to the party tomorrow, but you’re not certain.

If you say “I’m going to go to the party tomorrow, it means that you’re most likely going to be at the party tomorrow.

          Other uses of Will

So, other than using will with these triggers, to kind of show some uncertainty, you can also use it when you’re talking about something that is factual, a perceived fact in the future.

So, for example, “Obama will be president of the United States until 2017.” It is something that more or less it’s a fact, he will be president until 2017, maybe. You’re not 100% certain about it, but it’s what you would expect.

And then, last, we can use will with something that is in the immediate future, or to make a promise about something that you’re going to do now.

So, for example, like, your mom tells you to take out the trash. You say “Ok, I’ll do it now.”

Or you need to call someone. “I’ll call Tom now.” “I’ll walk the dog now,” “I’ll send you that email now.”


Alright guys, so, remember that these rules between will and going to aren’t so concrete, it’s more like we try to create these rules to explain how we speak in English. So, don’t get too worried about them, try to pay attention to how they’re used in context and to play around with it in your own speech. Don’t overuse will, and try to going to as well, when it’s appropriate.

Alright, so I hope this has been useful for you. Remember to subscribe if you found this video useful so that we can keep bringing you more videos like these. And, also, comment below if you have any ideas for other videos you’d like us to make. Alright. Have a good one, guys. Later!

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