The English language has time-bound grammatical forms. This helps the speaker 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 essential grammatical feature to be understood. Tenses are connected with the word, and it modifies the verb depending on the time factor. Future Tense marks are happening in the future. It determines an activity that has not happened yet.
It is a verb form that generally describes an event or an activity that is bound to happen in the future. The English language has numerous ways to define the future.
The usage of the auxiliary verb, in particular, determines the tense of the sentence. Examples of auxiliary verbs are Will, Shall, Is/Am/Are/Was/Were/Would/Should.
All the auxiliary verbs are used prominently in every spoken or written sentence. While documenting or discussing the future, the verb ‘Will’ denotes the end.
- He will go to a restaurant.
- 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, Lilly has not eaten the mangoes yet, but she is bound to eat them 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
- He is going to a restaurant.
- Lilly is going to eat the mangoes.
If noticed, ‘Going to’ also denotes the future but is not as clearly meant in the first sequence where ‘Will’ was used. These two sentences have a different meanings from the first set of sentences.
- “Will” expresses a future action or intention, while “going to” indicates a planned or predetermined event.
- “Will” often implies a spontaneous decision or prediction, whereas “going to” suggests a prior plan or intention.
- Both forms can describe future events, but “will” has a more general usage, and “going to” is for specific, intended actions.
Will vs Going to
Will and going to are frequently used in informal conversations. They can be used interchangeably. will is more frequently utilized with recent decisions, specific futures, and predictions if you want to be as accurate as you can. Going to is frequently used about predetermine events. Will is utilized for recent, quick judgements and when speaking with assurance about the future. Going to is a phrase used to describe pre-planned events.
|Parameter of Comparison||Will||Going to|
|Common Usage||‘Will’ gives the immediate decision at the moment of speaking.|
I will eat raw vegetables.
|‘Going to’ gives the decision that is taken prior.|
I am going to the movies tomorrow.
|Predictions||Predictions are made using personal opinions.|
I think he will lose the match.
|Predictions are made based on current evidence.|
Roger Federer is going to win the match today.
|Future Facts||‘Will’ shall give future facts well in advance.|
The watchman will come tomorrow.
|‘Going to’ denotes something that will happen immediately in the future.|
Lilly is going to come on stage now.
|Other Tenses||‘Will’ can never be used other than in the Future tense||‘Going to’ can also be used in the Past tense.|
|‘be’ Verbs||There is no need to use any ‘be’ verb while the word ‘Will’ is used after the subject.|
He will eat hamburgers.
|There is a need to use a ‘be’ verb before ‘Going to’ to make sense of the sentence and the time frame. The usage of the be verb determines the tense of the sentence.|
He ‘is’ going to eat hamburgers.
When to Use Will?
‘Will’ is an auxiliary verb used in the English Language to denote future happenings. It is used while the sentences are in the Future tense.
The word ‘Will’ is used in different contexts in speaking and writing but features only in the Future tense.
I. ‘Will’ expresses the Future Tense
- You will get your salary tomorrow.
- Jasmine will come tonight.
Both sentences talk about the future.
- The salary is not got yet; it will happen tomorrow
- Jasmine has not arrived yet; she will come tonight.
II. ‘Will’ is also used to denote inevitable events.
- Mistakes will happen.
- Accidents will happen.
III. ‘Will’ can be used to make a request too.
- Will you drop me?
- Will you help me lift the luggage?
IV. ‘Will’ can also be used to express a desire.
- I will like to eat mangoes.
- I will prefer to go out in the dark.
V. ‘Will’ is excellent in expressing the capacity or the ability
- The paper is so lightweight that it will float in water.
- He is so strong that he will lift the baggage single-handedly.
These are a few ways the word ‘Will’ is used in English. It is always used in the future tense and always denotes the happenings in the future.
When to Use Going to?
‘Going to’ is a particular phrase used to denote the activity in the future. It is never tense but a structure that can mean the sentence in the future tense.
The actual structure of ‘Going to’ is
Subject + be verb + Going + to -infinitive
- I am going to buy a new cell phone.
- He is going to take the Knife.
In the first sentence
I – Subject
am – Be a verb
Special Structure – Going
to buy – to-infinitive.
Same way, in the second sentence,
He – Subject
is – Be a verb
Special Structure – Going
to take – to – infinitive
This unique structure is used in many ways in English
I. ‘Going to’ can be used for any intention.
- I am going to buy a new car.
- Nikky is going to hit him.
The above two sentences are pre-planned, and it is expressed in sentences. ‘Going to’ voices the intention of ‘buying’ and ‘hitting’.
II. ‘Going to’ is also used to predict.
- India is going to win.
- It is going to rain.
The above two sentences give an evidence-based prediction.
‘Going to’ can be conveniently used in other tenses too.
- I was going to slap him yesterday.
- She was going to take the seat last night.
Here ‘going to’ refers to an incident that would have happened in the past.
Main Differences Between Will and Going to
- 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.
- ‘Will’ and ‘Going to’ is used while predictions are made; the former is used to predict a particular aspect based on personal experiences and opinions, while the latter is used to predict based on current evidence.
- The future facts are given in advance by ‘Will’ whereas ‘Going to’ denotes something that shall happen immediately.
- ‘Will’ is always and only used in Future tense, while ‘Going to’ is used in Past Tense.
- ‘Will’ is, as such, an auxiliary verb used in future tense, and there is no need for a be verb while employed in a sentence; however, ‘going to’ requires a ‘be’ verb to ascertain the tense of the sentence.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.