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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Will, going to, present continuous – 3 English future forms

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We had a request from a viewer for this video.

Moroccan geographer said the most difficult thing about English for him is the future.

He said "I don't know when to use "will" or "be going to" or the present continuous.

It's awful!”

Theyre all common ways to talk about the future.

And theyre tricky because sometimes their uses overlap, and sometimes they dont.

So were going to to look at the three basics - facts and predictions, plans and making

decisions.

And we have a story for you so you can see them in action.

Lets start with facts and predictions.

Welcome.

I am Madame Victoire and I will unlock the mysteries of the future.

How much do you charge?

You get three predictions for three hundred dollars.

Thats a lot of money.

Three predictions with 100% accuracy and a money back guarantee.

Oh, so if your predictions are wrong, I get my money back.

Yes.

It wont cost you a penny.

But Im never wrong.

OK.

Ill do it.

But heres the thing.

I have a very important job interview tomorrow morning

Shhh.

Let me see

Hmmm, I see black clouds.

Its going to rain tomorrow.

Really?

The weather forecast says its going to be sunny.

Oh youre right.

The ball was a little dirty.

Tomorrow will be sunny.

I dont trust Madame Victoire.

She says shes 100% accurate.

Well see about that.

OK, lets look at some of the things she said.

We often use the verbwillto state facts about the future and make predictions.

Will is a modal verb and the negative is wontwill - not - wont.

It wont cost you a penny.

Sometimes its hard to hearwillwhen were speaking fast because we use contractions:

Ill, youll, well, theyll, hell, shell and itll.

Itll be sunny tomorrow.

But with facts and predictionswillisnt the only verb we use.

We also usebe going to’.

Its the present continuous form of the verbgoand its very common.

Notice the pronunciation again.

When were speaking fast we dont say going to, we say gonna.

So heres the question.

Is there a difference in meaning withwillandbe going to’?

A lot of the time, theres no difference.

We can saywillor 'going toand it means the same thing.

A mistake students often make is they usewilltoo much.

It doesnt sound natural.

And also there are some situations where we dont saywill’.

If a prediction is based on present evidence, we saygoing to’ – not will.

We saw an example of that too.

Hmmm, I see black clouds.

Its going to rain tomorrow.

The evidence was the black clouds, so she saidIts gonna rain.’

She saw that rain was on its way.

It would sound odd to saywillhere.

Going tois more natural because shes looking at evidence.

She can see the rain coming.

Heres another example.

Im gonna have a problem with that fortune teller.

Thats your prediction?

Yes, and Im sayinggonna’, because I saw signs that she wasnt very good.

Her crystal ball was dirty.

Exactly, so Im predicting that shes going to be a problem.

Then lets see what happens next.

Am I going to get the job?

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

What do you see?

Is there a problem?

Therell be a lot of traffic on the highway tomorrow.

How are you getting to that job interview?

Im walking.

Well dont take the highway.

Im not taking the highway.

Im going on foot.

Just as well.

We heard another prediction there: Therell be a lot of traffic on the highway.

But theres always a lot of traffic on the highway.

Anyone could predict that.

True.

OK, we heard another future form there.

How are you getting to that job interview?

Im walking.

We heard the present continuous.

We often use this form to talk about future plans and arrangements.

If its not clear that we mean the future and not now, we state a time.

How are you getting to your job interview tomorrow?

We use 'going to' and the present continuous to talk about future plans.

And again, in lots of situations, you can use either.

So is there a difference in meaning with these forms?

We usegoing toto talk about intentionsthings we intend to do.

And we use the present continuous to talk about arrangements and appointments with other

people.

But many future events are both intentions and arrangements, so in a lot of cases either

form works.

But if the verb is 'go', we normally use the present continuous and notbe going to’.

We heard an example of that.

Im going on foot.

You could also sayIm going to go on foot.’

Its grammatically OK, but it doesnt sound so natural.

With the verbgowe generally use the present continuous.

Well say things like Im going to the shops.

Im going by bus.

Im going home.

Yes, we could sayIm going to go to the shopsbut it sounds repetitive.

We generally avoid it.

Use the present continuous with the verbgoinstead.

Are we going to see what happens next in the story?

Yeah, OK.

I need to know about my job interview.

What questions are they going to ask me?

Oh this is interesting.

Well I never!

Is it good news?

Yes.

Do you have shares in Acme Corp?

No.

Well buy some.

I cant.

I just gave you all my money.

Thats a shame.

Theyre going up tomorrow.

Well, thats it then.

But you havent told me about my job interview.

Just let make a note of that.

Buy Acme Corp …. You havent answered any of my questions.

Youre a fraud.

I am not!

I want my money back.

No.

Youve had three predictions and theyre 100% accurate.

Ill call the police.

Oh no.

No, no.

All right.

Ill give you another one.

Shes a fraud.

But she offered to give you another prediction.

Yeah, but only when I threatened to call the cops.

Ill call the police.

Oh no.

No, no.

All right.

Ill give you another one.

Notice she said 'I'll give you another one'.

Theres a difference betweenwillandgoing towhen were making decisions like this.

If were making a spontaneous decision, we use will, not going to.

A spontaneous decision is a decision were making at the time of speaking.

We saw another example of that earlier.

It wont cost you a penny.

OK.

Ill do it.

Jay saidIll do it there’ – so he usedwillnotgoing to’.

I made the decision on the spot.

But if were talking about a decision we made earlier, we dont say will.

We saybe going toor we use the present continuous.

Well dont take the highway.

Im not taking the highway.

Im going on foot.

Just as well.

So at the moment were making a decision, we usewill’.

But after weve made the decision it becomes our intention or plan.

And then we usegoing toor the present continuous because the decision's already

made and now it's a plan.

Its logical if you think about it.

I think we need a review.

We use 'be going to' and 'will' to talk about future facts and to make predictions.

In most situations we can say 'will' or 'going to'.

It doesnt matter which one.

But if theres evidence or if there are signs that something is on its way, we generally

usebe going to’.

We also usebe going toto talk about future plans.

And we use the present continuous to talk about plans as well, especially if were

talking about arrangements and appointments with other people.

If were making a decision at the time of speaking, we saywill’.

And if were talking about a decision that was made in the past, we use 'going to'.

So those are the key rules we follow withwill’, ‘be going toand the present

continuous.

Its not so hard, is it?

Just remember not to usewillall the time because sometimeswilldoesnt

work.

Is that it then?

Yes.

Well, we still need to finish the story Before we do, if youve enjoyed this video,

please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel.

And maybe you can share it with a friend wholl find it useful too.

Lets finish the story then.

Tell me about my job interview.

Whats going to happen?

You dont need to worry about your job interview.

Thank goodness for that!

In fact theyre going to call you in three seconds to cancel it.

Why?

Theyve already hired someone else.

The Description of Will, going to, present continuous – 3 English future forms