In English, there are various forms are used to refer to the future. ‘Will’ and ‘going to’ are the two most common forms used in English.
Differences Between Will and Going to | Rule 1
Connection to Present
Will is used when there is no connection to the present.
- If I win the lottery, I will buy a restaurant on the beach.
- She will graduate from university in two years.
Going to is used when there is a connection to the present.
- I am going to visit my grandfather this weekend.
- They are going to start their own business next month.
Differences Between Will and Going to | Rule 2
Will is used with future facts or things we believe to be true.
- The sun will rise in the east and set in the west.
- I believe he will become a successful entrepreneur one day.
Going to is not used with future facts or things we believe to be true.
Daily Grammar Test - Attempt Now
- I am going to have lunch with my friend tomorrow. (This expresses a future plan or intention, not a future fact or belief.)
- They are going to travel to Europe next summer. (This expresses a future plan, not a future fact or belief.)
Differences Between Will and Going to | Rule 3
Plans and Decisions
Will is used at the moment of taking a decision.
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- A: Can you help me with this project?
- B: Yes, I will help you.
- A: I’m so thirsty.
- B: I will get you a glass of water.
Going to is used to talk about a planned activity.
- We are going to have a picnic in the park next Sunday.
- He is going to take a cooking class next month.
Differences Between Will and Going to | Rule 4
Will is used to make a prediction in the far-off future.
- By the year 2050, humans will have landed on Mars.
- I predict that in 50 years, cars will no longer run on gasoline.
Going to is used to express a prediction based on evidence in the present.
- Look at those dark clouds! It’s going to rain soon.
- She’s been studying very hard. I think she’s going to pass the exam with flying colours.
Differences Between Will and Going to | Rule 5
Will is used to indicate promises, offers, requests or invitations.
- I will meet you at the airport tomorrow.
- Would you like some help? I will be happy to assist you.
Going to is not used to indicate such things.
- I am going to take a walk in the park later. (This expresses a plan, not a promise, offer, request, or invitation.)
- They are going to buy a new car next year. (This expresses a plan, not a promise, offer, request, or invitation.)