Difference Between Will and Going to (With Table)

Will vs Going to

The English language has time-bound grammatical forms. This helps the speaker to conveniently speak about the past, present, and future. 

Tenses play a vital role in determining which time frame the context exists. The grammatical nature and the usage of words change depending on the context of time.

To speak and write correct English, tenses are an important grammatical feature to be understood. Tenses are connected with the word and it modifies the verb depending on the time factor.

Future Tense marks happening in the future. It determines an activity that has not happened yet.

It is a verb form that normally describes an event or an activity that is bound to happen in the future. The English language has numerous ways to describe the future.

The usage of the auxiliary verb, in particular, determines the tense of the sentence. The examples of auxiliary verbs are Will, Shall, Is/Am/Are/Was/Were/Would/Should.

All the auxiliary verbs are used prominently in every sentence that is spoken or written. While documenting or speaking about the future, the verb ‘Will’ denotes the future.

For E.g.

  1. He will go to a restaurant.
  2. Lilly will eat the mangoes.

The above two sentences mark the happening in the future as to ‘He’ – pronoun will go to the restaurant. This means, ‘he’ has still not gone, but will go in future.

In the second sentence also, Lilly has not eaten the mangoes yet, she is bound to eat it in the future.

The English language has some substitutes that can be used which will not disturb the grammatical form. In this case, the auxiliary verb ‘Will’ can also be replaced with ‘Going to’

For E.g.

  1. He is going to a restaurant.
  2. Lilly is going to eat the mangoes.

If noticed, ‘Going to’ also denotes the future but not as clearly meant in the first sequence where ‘Will’ was used. These two sentences have a different meaning from the first set of sentences.

The main difference between Will and Going to is, ‘Will’ is used when a future activity is expressed at the moment of speaking while ‘Going to’ refers to the expression that is planned earlier.

For E.g.

  1.  I will have water.
  2. I am going to see my father tomorrow.

 

Comparison Table Between Will and Going to (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonWillGoing to
Common Usage‘Will’ gives the immediate decision at the moment of speaking.
For E.g.
I will eat raw vegetables.
‘Going to’ gives the decision that is taken prior.
For E.g.
I am going to the movies tomorrow.
PredictionsPredictions are made using personal opinions.
For E.g.
I think he will lose the match.
Predictions are made based on current evidence.
For E.g.
Roger Federer is going to win the match today.
Future Facts‘Will’ shall give future facts well in advance.
For E.g.
The watchman will come tomorrow.
‘Going to’ is used to denote something that is going to happen immediately in the future.
For E.g.
Lilly is going to come on stage now.
Other Tenses‘Will’ can never be used other than in Future tense‘Going to’ can also be used in Past tense.
‘be’ VerbsThere is no need to use any ‘be’ verb while the word ‘Will’ is used after the subject.
For E.g.
He will eat hamburgers.
There is a need to use a ‘be’ verb before ‘Going to’ to make any sense to the sentence as well as the time frame. The usage of the be verb determines the tense of the sentence.
For E.g.
He ‘is’ going to eat hamburgers.
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When to Use Will?

‘Will’ is an auxiliary verb used in the English Language to denote the happenings of the future. It is used while the sentences are in Future tense.

The word ‘Will’ is used in different contexts in speaking and writing but features only in Future tense.

I. ‘Will’ expresses the Future Tense

For E.g.

  1. You will get your salary tomorrow.
  2. Jasmine will come tonight.

Both sentences talk about the future.

  1. The salary is not got yet, it will happen tomorrow 
  2. Jasmine has not arrived yet, she will come tonight.

II. ‘Will’ is also used to denote inevitable events.

For E.g.

  1. Mistakes will happen.
  2. Accidents will happen.

III. ‘Will’ can be used to make a request too.

For E.g.

  1. Will you drop me?
  2. Will you help me lift the luggage?

IV. ‘Will’ can also be used to express a desire.

For E.g.

  1. I will like to eat mangoes.
  2. I will prefer to go out in the dark.

V. ‘Will’ is excellent in expressing the capacity or the ability

For E.g.

  1. The paper is so lightweight that it will float in water.
  2. He is so strong that he will lift the baggage single-handedly.

These are a few ways, the word ‘Will’ is used in the English Language. It is always used in the future tense and always denotes the happenings in the future.

Will 1
Will Usage
 

When to Use Going to?

‘Going to’ is a special phrase used to denote the activity in the future. It is never tense, but a structure that can denote the sentence in the future tense.

The actual structure of ‘Going to’ is 

Subject + be verb + Going + to -infinitive

For E.g. 

  1. I am going to buy a new cell phone.
  2. He is going to take the Knife.

In the first sentence 

I – Subject

am – Be verb

Special Structure – Going

to buy – to-infinitive.

Same way in the second sentence,

He – Subject

is – Be verb

Special Structure – Going

to take – to – infinitive

This special structure is used in many ways in English

I. ‘Going to’ can be used for any intention.

For E.g. 

  1. I am going to buy a new car.
  2. Nikky is going to hit him.

The above two sentences are pre-planned and it is expressed in sentences. ‘Going to’ voices out the intention of ‘buying’ and ‘hitting’.

II. ‘Going to’ is also used to predict.

For E.g.

  1. India is going to win.
  2. It is going to rain.

The above two sentences give the evidence-based prediction.

‘Going to’ can be conveniently used in other tenses too.

For E.g.

  1. I was going to slap him yesterday.
  2. She was going to take the seat last night.

Here ‘going to’ refers to an incident that would have happened in the past.

Going to
Going to Usage

Main Differences Between Will and Going to

  1. The main difference between Will and Going to is, ‘Will’ is used in contexts which are planned immediately for the future, while ‘Going to’ is used in places where plans are made well in advance.
  2. ‘Will’ and ‘Going to’ is used while predictions are made, the former is used to predict a certain aspect based on personal experiences and opinions while the latter is used to predict based on current evidence.
  3. The future facts are given in advance by ‘Will’ whereas ‘Going to’ denotes something that shall happen immediately.
  4. ‘Will’ is always and only used in Future tense while ‘Going to’ is used in Past Tense as well.
  5. ‘Will’ is as such an auxiliary verb used in future tense and there is no need for a be verb while used in a sentence, however, ‘going to’ requires a ‘be’ verb to ascertain the tense of the sentence.
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Conclusion

The words ‘Will’ and ‘Going to’ has similarities in them. It helps the speakers or the writers to interchangeably use it in the right contexts. Both these words can be used to denote future activities without changing the meaning of the sentence. 

For E.g. 

  1. I think it will be very sunny tomorrow.
  2. I think it is going to be sunny tomorrow.

Both the above sentences do not have any different meaning. It is a wise choice to use the right word in the right context. If it is immediate action, then it is the usage of ‘Will’ while if it is well planned, then it is the turn of ‘Going to’ to feature in the sentence. 


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Will and Going to

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Will and Going to. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Difference Between Will and Going to
Word Cloud for Will and Going to

 

References

  1. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/will
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going-to_future