Will, Be ggooiinngg ttoo,, pprreesseenntt ccoonnttiinnuuoouuss,, ……....
WWhhaatt aa mmeessss!!
What’s the difference?
1. I’ll have a salad, please.
2. Tomorrow night I’m having lunch with Peter.
We use will when there is no prior plan or decision to do something before we speak. We
make the decision at the time of speaking.
We often use will with the verb think:
• I think I'll go to the gym tomorrow.
• I think I'll have a holiday next year.
• I don't think I'll buy that car.
We use the present continuous only when a plan exists (arrangements) before we speak.
The verb be is an exception with will. Even when we have a very firm plan, and we are not
speaking spontaneously, we can use will with be. Look at these examples:
• I will be in London tomorrow.
• There will be 50 people at the party.
What’s the difference?
1. People won’t get to Jupiter before the 22nd century.
2. Look there! This kid is going to fall down the tree.
We often use will to make a prediction about the future. Again, there is no firm plan.
We are saying what we think will happen.
We can make our predictions stronger or weaker using some adverbs such as definitely, certainly,
probably or possibly (don’t use possible!):
• She’ll certainly finish her degree next June.
• I probably won’t be back till Wednesday morning.
NOTE: The position of the adverb changes according to the type of sentence:
+ between WILL and VERB
- before WON’T
We often use be going to to make a prediction about the future. Our prediction is based on evidence. We
are saying what seems sure to happen.
Classify the expressions in bold into the right category.
1. I’m certain that tourism in Spain will rocket in the next few years.
2. I doubt whether the local festival can attract some tourists.
3. I would imagine that there will be some restoration works in progress.
4. There’s no doubt that a coffee at St. Mark’s Square will be a rip-off.
5. There’s a chance that we will see the Dali exhibition at Reina Sofia.
6. There’s no way that I will dive among sharks. That’s not for me.
7. The chances are that most tourists will have to pay fee for recording.
KEY: A: I’m certain that, There’s no doubt that B: I would imagine that, The chances are that
C: There’s a chance that D: I doubt whether E: There’s no way that
Use one of the time expressions in combination with an infinitive structure to say
when these predictions might come true.
By the middle of this century In the next few years
In five years’ time Within a decade or so
(not) In the foreseeable future (not) In my lifetime
In the near future In the coming decade
One day In the distant future
1. Medical tourism will grow.
2. Trips to the Moon will be commonplace.
3. Tourists won’t need to buy local currency.
4. Holidaymakers will rent rooms under the sea.
5. A 3D device to enjoy extreme experiences such as bungee jumping will be marketed.
6. The number of tourists visiting Spain will plummet.
Other uses of “WILL”
We often use will to make a promise.
• I’ll always love you.
• I’ll pay you back tomorrow.
We use shall to offer ourselves to do something:
• Shall I open the window?
Also, to make suggestions:
• Shall we go for a drink tonight?
When you ask another person to do something for you, use will: Will you close the window, please?
In time clauses, use present simple after When, aass ssoooonn aass,, uunnttiill,, iinn ccaassee …… and will in the other clause:
• I’ll call him as soon as I get home.
• When I’m at home, I’ll put on my slippers and relax in the sofa.
Be going to or present continuous?
We use the special be going to construction when we have the intention to do something before we
speak. We have already made a decision before speaking.
Look at these examples:
• I have won $1,000. I am going to buy a new TV.
• We're not going to see my mother tomorrow.
In these examples, we had an intention or plan before speaking. The decision was made before we
Sometimes there is no real difference between an intention (going to) and a plan, arrangement
(present continuous). In this case, it doesn't matter which we use.
• We're going to paint the bedroom tomorrow.
• We're painting the bedroom tomorrow.
With “COME” and “GO” we often use present continuous instead of “be going to”:
• Next weekend we’re going to Madrid.
• When are you coming to Spain?
MIGHT/ COULD & LIKELY TO
• She is likely to come next month. She is looking for a cheap flight
on the Internet.
• She might/ could come but she isn’t sure yet.
We use “likely to” for a probable intention or prediction.
We use “might” or “could” for an intention or prediction that is
Present Simple for schedules
When an event is on a schedule or timetable (for example, the take-off
time for a plane), we often use the present simple to express the future.
We usually also use a future word (expressed or understood) like tomorrow,
at 6.30pm, next week.
Only a few verbs are used in this way, for example:
• be, open, close, begin, start, end, finish, arrive, come, leave, return
What’s the best alternative?
1. We are going/ might go to Venezuela on holiday this year. I booked yesterday.
2. We’ll probably / we’re going camping but we’re not sure yet.
3. On Saturday, I’m meeting / I’ll meet some friend for lunch.
4. In the future I’m using / I’m going to use English to get a better job.
5. I think it’s raining / it will rain this weekend.
6. My last bus home goes / is going at five past midnight.
7. There’s no lesson next week? In that case I’m going to stay / I’ll stay at home
8. I’ll carry an umbrella in case I need / I’ll need it.
9. I’m likely to finish / I probably will finish my degree next June, if I study
Other ways of referring to the
This is used to describe formal arrangements:
• The president of the States is to come next month.
BE ABOUT TO / BE ON THE POINT OF/ BE ON THE VERGE OF:
they refer to the next moment (near future events):
• I think the play is about to start / is on the point of starting
BE DUE TO:
it refers to scheduled times:
• Ann’s flight is due at 5.
BE BOUND/ SURE/ CERTAIN TO:
To talk about things considered inevitable:
• The new road works are sure to annoy drivers as soon as they start.
We sometimes just use the verb TO BE together with adjectives such as imminent,
forthcoming, impending, …. However, it might sound formal and often only in written
What’s the difference?
• It’ll rain tomorrow
• Tomorrow at 5, It’ll be raining
• By tomorrow evening, It’ll have rained.
Future continuous describes an event which will be happening at a future point.
Future perfect is used to say that something will be finished before a certain time in the future.
These time expressions are usually found together with future continuous and perfect:
“by Saturday / March …” or
“in two weeks (‘ time) / months(‘ time) …..”
“This time tomorrow / next week ….”
“Tomorrow at ….., I’ll be …”