Simple future has two different forms in English: will and going to. Although both forms can sometimes be used interchangeably, they often express two very different meanings. Both forms refer to specific time in future.
Affirmative sentences structure: Subject+ [will + verb] + complement
- I will help my mother later
- She will send some letters
- You will paint a beautiful picture for the art class
Sometimes, the form will can be used as a contraction à ’ll. With the last examples:
- I’ll help my mother later
- You’ll paint a beautiful picture for the art class
- She will send some letters**
**The contraction (’ll) is often used for the pronouns: I, you and we.
Negative sentences structure: Subject+ [will not + verb] + complement**
** “Will not” can be replaced with the contraction won’t
- I will not help my mother
- She won’t send some letter
- You will not paint a beautiful picture
Yes/No questions structure: Will + subject + verb + complement + ?
- Will you help your mother?
- Will she send some letters?
In Yes/No question, we should give either an affirmative or negative answer to that question.
- Will she send some letters?
Affirmative: Yes, she will. (The verb is omitted)
Negative: No, she will not/won’t. (The verb is omitted)
Wh-questions structure: Wh-word (what, which, when…) + Will + subject + verb + complement + ?
- What will she send? A: She will send letters
Form be going to
Affirmative sentences structure: Subject + [be going to + verb] + complement
- I am** going to send a letter tomorrow
- He is** going to join a gym the next month
- We are** going to perform a song tonight
** REMEMBER: We should conjugate the verb be according to the subject.
Negative sentences structure: Subject + [be not going to + verb] + complement
- I am not going to send a letter tomorrow
- We aren’t going to perform a song tonight.
Yes/No questions structure: Be + subject + going to verb + complement + ?
- Are you going to send a letter tomorrow?
Affirmative: Yes, I am
Negative: No, I am not
Wh-questions structure: Wh-word (what, which, when…) + Be + subject + going to verb + complement + ?
- What are you going to send tomorrow? A: I’m going to send a letter tomorrow
USE 1 “Will” to Express a Voluntary Action
“Will” often suggests that a speaker will do something voluntarily. A voluntary action is one the speaker offers to do for someone else.
- I will paint your wall if you need it.
- She will translate the Japanese text, so Mr. Baratheon can read it.
- I won’t help Mary because she was very mean with me.
- A: I’m really hungry
B: I’ll make some sandwiches
USE 2 “Will” to Express a Promise
- I will give you a beautiful gift for Christmas
- If I win the elections the next year, I will solve poverty in Costa Rica
- You won’t tell anyone my secret, right?
USE 3 “Be going to” to express a Plan/Arrangement
“Be going to” expresses that something is a plan. It expresses the idea that a person intends to do something in the future. It does not matter whether the plan is realistic or not.
- He is going to meet the president next Wednesday.
- I am going to spend my vacation in Russia.
- Are you going to invite Cersei to the party tonight?
- I’m not going to be an actor when I grow up.
USE 4 “Will” or “Be Going to” to Express a Prediction
Both “will” and “be going to” can express the idea of a general prediction about the future. Predictions are guesses about what might happen in the future.
- In the year 5894, a post-human race will invade the planet
- In the year 5894, a post-human race is going to invade the planet
If we add an “if”, it is mandatory to use will.
- I don’t know if Oscar Arias will win the elections in 2018
USE 5 “Going to” to express something that is likely to happen
- Be careful! You are going to fall
- Look at those hungry lions. I think they are going to bite our bodies