"Thanks for helping me get the A+.  I'm going to grad school!" --Simon D., UCLA

  The Web site just for English students       September 30th, 2014 9:49am      
click here to return to MyEnglishTeacher.net home
sign up for FREE English lessons, FREE updates and news, and great offers for English students!
have an English teacher correct your essay, composition, report or any other type of writing
have a professional correct or write your resume and cover letter!
see past lessons that have appeared on MyEnglishTeacher.net!
see this week's FREE English lesson
click here to enter the LIVE chat room
click here for great resources for teachers

buy textbooks and English books at great prices!

contact us--we'd love to hear from you!

 

Looking for something?


 

 

 

 



 see the answers now!

Click here for a printable version

Welcome to this week's writing lesson from

 MyEnglishTeacher.net

Are you writing a report, typing a letter, or building a Web site?  If so, you must have tons of questions about English grammar.  That's why we are pleased to make the following

book recommendations

cover

This is a terrific book that explains how to correctly use grammar (basic to advanced).  The author discusses lots of problematic areas and how to correct them. Click here for more information.

 

 

cover

This is another terrific book which covers intermediate to advanced grammar and writing skills.  This helpful guide discusses tips on creating sentences and essays.  Click here for more information.

 

Click here to see more English grammar and writing books.

  Will you or won't you?  

Lesson Topic: Future Tense Using "Will" And "Be Going To" 

Question:  You are going out for lunch.  You hear your boss saying that his shirt is ready at the dry cleaner's.  You are a really faithful, helpful, and loyal employee.  What do you say?

  1. I'm going to pick it up for you.
  2. I'll pick it up for you.
  3. Pick it up yourself!  You, lazy bum!

C is a great answer if you want to get fired.  If you don't want to get fired, we strongly recommend one of the others.

If you chose not to get fired, you are considering A and B.  Which one is possible?  Which one is best?  Which one is usually said by a native speaker? 

Both A and B are possible, but one is more common for a native speaker.  Though will and be going to mean almost the same thing and are interchangeable sometimes, there are some situations when one is used more than the other.  

Will 

Promises 

Johnny Mom, if I get 100 on my math test, will you take me out for ice cream?
Mom Yes, I'll take you out for ice cream.  I promise.

Offers to help 

Patricia  I lost my ring
Brian No problem.  I'll help you find it.

Request for help 

Peter I need to change the oil in my car.  Will you help me?
William Of course, I'll help you.  
Would is even more polite in requests for help.

I need to change the oil in my car.  Are you going to help me? is considered impolite.  

Predictions about the future 

Heather Some statisticians predict that there will be10 billion people in the world by 2050.  
Melinda  I think they are right.  I heard there won't be enough food in the world for everyone.
Will is often used in predictions, but be going to is also used and acceptable.

Refusal of things

Walter I can't open this bottle of wine.
Sally Yeah.  The cork won't come out.

Be Going To

State a plan or intention 

Holly What are you going to do this summer?
Mandy I am going to travel across Europe.  I am going to see everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Coliseum in Rome.  

Back To The Quiz At The Top

Using the information we just learned about will and be going to, what is the answer to the quiz at the top of this lesson?  The situation is an offer to help.  Offers to help usually use will.  Therefore, the answer is B. A is not wrong, but B is a little more common.

Quiz

Directions: Look at the following sentences.  Rewrite the sentences in blue using will or the correct form of be going to.  

1.  My radio is broken.  You (fix) it for me?

2.  I have a two-week vacation in August.  I (fly) to Vietnam.

3.  My car ran out of* gas.  It (not go).  

*ran out of=used up all of (so there is no more)

4.  My supervisor is a really nice guy.  He promised me a big bonus this year.  He promised me that he (give) me $2500 if we increase sales by 10%.  

5.  You spilled the milk.  I (clean) it up.

 



 

1.  My radio is broken.  You (fix) it for me?

     Answer: My radio is broken.  Will you fix it for me?

     Reason: Request for help

2.  I have a two-week vacation in August.  I (fly) to Vietnam.

     Answer: I have a two-week vacation in August.  I am going to fly to Vietnam.

     Reason: Statement of plan or intention

3.  My car ran out of gas.  It (not go).  

     Answer: My car ran out of gas.  It won't go.

     Reason: Refusal of things

4.  My supervisor is a really nice guy.  He promised me a big bonus this year.  He promised me that he (give) me $2500 if we increase sales by 10%.  

     Answer: My supervisor is a really nice guy.  He promised me a big bonus this year.  He promised me that he'll give me $2500 if we increase sales by 10%.  

     Reason: Promise

5.  You spilled the milk.  I (clean) it up.

     Answer: You spilled the milk.  I'll clean it up.

     Reason: Offer to help

 

 

  Rules to Remember!

1 Sometimes will and be going to are interchangeable.  In other words, it makes virtually no difference which one you use.  At other times, however, the difference is significant.  For example, when requesting a favor, don't use be going to.  
2

Most of the above are suggestions and generalizations about how native speakers use will and be going to.  These are not absolute rules. 

3

When using will in speech, using a contraction is very common.  For example,

     I'll give you a hand.*

     *I'll give you a hand=I'll help you

 

     Marie hates movies.  She won't go with us. 

Do you want to send this lesson to someone?  Click here!

Want to see other lessons that have been published on MyEnglishTeacher.net?  Click here!

Looking for books to improve your writing?  Click here!

 

2001 MyEnglishTeacher.net.  All rights reserved.  No information or lessons contained on this page or any page in this Web site may be used without the expressed written permission of MyEnglishTeacher.net and its parent company Advanced Learning Center.  This lesson may only be copied and may only be used in a classroom for educational purposes exclusively.  When using in a classroom for educational purposes, this copyright notice MUST be included on all copies. The material contained on this page and all pages in this Web site are covered by copyright laws.  Therefore, no material may be used for another Web site, book, magazine, or any other use.  To use this material, please email us at staff@myenglishteacher.net  



2000 Advanced Learning Center.  All rights reserved.  If you find an error on this Web site, please email us and let us know.  We appreciate all feedback and suggestions.