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ESL forum > Ask for help > Difference between Future & Near Future Tense..    

Difference between Future & Near Future Tense..


Difference between Future & Near Future Tense..
How do you explain your students the difference between future tense(will-shall)and near future tense?..There is not much difference between the two. Can anyone tell a way to let them understand better. Some exercise links are really appreciated. Thanks a lot Smile..

8 Dec 2009      


Here is the difference

Use of going to Future

  • an action in the near future that has already been planned or prepared

    example: I am going to study harder next year.

  • a conclusion regarding the immediate future

    example: The sky is absolutely dark. It is going to rain.

Will future expresses a spontaneous decision, an assumption with regard to the future or an action in the future that cannot be influenced.


8 Dec 2009     


Well, What I studied and I īm teaching is:
1 - Going to: intentional future, so not planned yet, you just have the intention and it is not yet finalized. Ex. Tomorrow I īm going to study Maths. (but I have only the intention of doing it)
2 - Present continuous used to express future that is already planned by my intention and will and in the sentence must be an adverb of time expressing future. Ex. Tomorrow I īm studying Maths. (=I have the intention and I made also a decision and plans. For ex. I have already invited a friend to study with me)
3- Will: It īs something not planned by me and it will happen in any case. I can īt change it. Ex. Tomorrow I will be 20.
We can use going to also when assuming something from facts and evidence: It īs going to rain (because from what I can see from my window... heavy clouds etc... I can conclude that)
We can use Will also as a modal when we express immediate and spontaneous decision. Ex. I īll do it.
Ok. I hope I īve been of help. Smile

9 Dec 2009     

United States

In American English the suggested meaning and usage for "going to" to express only an intention  does not accurately reflect our usage. "Going to" and "will" are both used to state what one plans to do.

If a person says he is going to do something, it is like a promise. You have to add a word like īprobably ī if you want it to not be a promise to do something. Otherwise people who believed you were actually going to do what you said you would do, will be disappointed.


Wife asks husband who is learning English: What are you going to do tomorrow?

Husband answers: I īm going to clean out the garage.

(Wife follows up the next day): I thought you were going to clean out the garage! When are you going to start?

Husband: I īll get to it in a minute. Iī m going to have a cup of coffee first. Oh wait.  There īs the phone! Let me get that.

Wife: I īll get it. (answers the phone)

(Later that day) Wife sees that husband still hasnīt started his cleaning job that he committed to. Wife gets angry and feels let down because he had promised he was going to clean up the garage.

Wife: Men! Canīt believe a word they say!

Husband (Overhears and is genuinely surprised): Whatīs the problem? I only said I was "going to" do it. We learned in our English class that when we say "going to" it is intentional but not planned. So, what are you so upset about? I only expressed the intention to do it. I didnīt promise.

Wife (crying): Reality is different than what you read in a grammar book. When you say you are going to do something in the United States, you are obligated to follow through and do what you said you would do. It is not just a whim or an idea or a possibility. You promised me something and now you are reneging! (sobs uncontrollably in disappointment)

Husband: Oh! I didnīt know, Hon. Listen I īll do it tomorrow.

Wife (crying less): Are you really going to do it tomorrow? For sure?

Husband: Yes, I īm definitely going to do it tomorrow without fail. And I īm not going to disappoint you again. Now come here. Husband enfolds wife in his arms and hugs her.

Husband: So, what are we going to do tonight, Honey?

Wife: Maybe I īll get us a movie and we can stay in and snuggle.

Husband: Maybe? Why maybe?

Wife: Well, I intend to try to go to the video store to get a video, but if it starts snowing, then I donīt want to drive in the snow. So, yes, "maybe.  I canīt say Iīm going to go to the video store because maybe I wonīt be able to, and I would not want to disappoint you when you are expecting me to go, so I say "maybe Iīll go." It means I might go, but I also reserve the right to change my mind.

Husband: It īs not going to snow. Not a cloud in the sky! If I say, "Iīll go with you." Is that a firm commitment like a promise? Or will you understand that I am just considering the possibility of going with you?

Wife: If you say you will do something it means you are actually going to do it. It is a commitment.

Husband: Then I īm going to say, I will go with you, and youīre going to stop crying and forgive me and we īll forget all about our grammar misunderstanding.

Wife: OK! I īm going to kiss you now. lol

Husband: And I īm not going to resist. lol

9 Dec 2009     


I teach exactly what Marcella has explained. So, we could cause family troubles...

9 Dec 2009