How to Talk About the Future

Something that I’ve noticed practically every English learner has a lot of difficulty with, at some point, is how to talk about the future.

If this is the case for you, if you’ve ever been unsure about whether to use will or going to then be sure to watch this short video and check out the transcript below, too.

If you enjoy this video, or have any questions or comments, please comment below!

[leadplayer_vid id=”533ED37539AF6″]

 

How People Learn it at School

So, most English learners learn at school that to conjugate to the future in English, you just add will plus the infinitive. So, I will go to the party, for example.

The Problem and How to Avoid it

But, in general, English learners tend to overuse will. In English, we don’t really use will that much, although there are cases where it is very necessary. What’s more common is to say going to, or even more common is gonna, which is where we take going to and we put it together and say gonna when we actually speak. Not so much in formal writing, though.

When we use Going to

So, we use going to a lot more, as I said. We use this when we’re talking about something in the future that we’re pretty certain about, maybe we’re not 100% certain about it, but we’re fairly certain about it.

Example

party on englishSo, for example, the difference between “I will go to the party tomorrow” and “I’m going to go to the party tomorrow” is that when you say “I will go to the party tomorrow,” you’re probably going to say it with a word like I think, I hope, probably, maybe, etc.

So, I will probably go to the party tomorrow, I think I will go to the party tomorrow, but you’re not certain.

If you say “I’m going to go to the party tomorrow, it means that you’re most likely going to be at the party tomorrow.

Other uses of Will

So, other than using will with these triggers, to kind of show some uncertainty, you can also use it when you’re talking about something that is factual, a perceived fact in the future.

So, for example, “Obama will be president of the United States until 2017.” It is something that more or less it’s a fact, he will be president until 2017, maybe. You’re not 100% certain about it, but it’s what you would expect.

And then, last, we can use will with something that is in the immediate future, or to make a promise about something that you’re going to do now.

So, for example, like, your mom tells you to take out the trash. You say “Ok, I’ll do it now.”

Or you need to call someone. “I’ll call Tom now.” “I’ll walk the dog now,” “I’ll send you that email now.”

Conclusion

Alright guys, so, remember that these rules between will and going to aren’t so concrete, it’s more like we try to create these rules to explain how we speak in English. So, don’t get too worried about them, try to pay attention to how they’re used in context and to play around with it in your own speech.

Don’t overuse will, and try to going to as well, when it’s appropriate.

Alright, so I hope this has been useful for you. Remember to subscribe if you found this video useful so that we can keep bringing you more videos like these.

And, also, comment below if you have any ideas for other videos you’d like us to make.

Alright. Have a good one, guys. Later!

If you enjoyed this video be sure to comment below. 

Want more on the future tense? Check out these articles:

17 Comments

  1. Nero on April 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Thanx for the article !

  2. Inmuebles Dos Rios on April 4, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Other uses of Will
    So, other than using will with these triggers, to kind of show some uncertainty, you can also use it when you’re talking about something that is factual, a perceived fact in the future.
    So, for example, “Obama will be president of the United States until 2017.” It is something that more or less it’s a fact, he will be president until 2017, maybe. You’re not 100% certain about it, but it’s what you would expect.
    And then, last, we can use will with something that is in the immediate future, or to make a promise about something that you’re going to do now.
    So, for example, like, your mom tells you to take out the trash. You say “Ok, I’ll do it now.”
    Or you need to call someone. “I’ll call Tom now.” “I’ll walk the dog now,” “I’ll send you that email now.

  3. Fadel Diallo on April 5, 2014 at 12:23 am

    This video is very useful, so we need some other videos. Thanks

  4. Maria Teresa Sivira on April 5, 2014 at 3:37 am

    If I have to teach future tense, books explain similar reasons, but, I realize that I also used both in the same way. Example: I´m going to call Tom now= I'll call to Tom now. So, is It exactly the same.?

  5. Nataly Konak on April 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks, guys!!! What you do is amazing!! Those videos are really useful for us, not native speakers. bz. sometimes it is really difficult to follow the difference.

  6. Mahabad Boskani on April 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you very much now i know Future tense

  7. Janet Abedi on April 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks ; good points

  8. Ethan Zinho on April 7, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Cheers Janet!

  9. Ethan Zinho on April 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

    So glad you enjoyed! Be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube if you want to get more videos like this 😀

  10. Ethan Zinho on April 7, 2014 at 8:46 am

    In this case I'd use "will" more often, but if you use "going to" it's not necessarily incorrect.

  11. Ethan Zinho on April 7, 2014 at 8:47 am

    That's great!!

  12. Ethan Zinho on April 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thanks so much! Really glad you enjoyed ;D

  13. Lu?n Hoàng on April 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Verry nice

  14. Nataly Konak on April 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Ethan Zinho thank You!!! ^_^

  15. Ezize Maqsudlu on April 9, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Thank you for your video. I have a question. What is the difference between must and have to? Can you make a video about must and have to?

  16. Teresa Garcia on April 9, 2014 at 9:30 am

    thank you.
    I have troubles to use ever.When to use ever…
    It would be so useful to me you to explain the use of ever.

  17. Andrea Anselmo on April 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Thank you, I appreciate the style of your explanations. I've already added your channel to my favourite websites, obviously. Go on with this great work, I wish you would break a leg ! …in the luckiest meaning, of course 😀

Leave a Comment