Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.





ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board


ESL forum > Ask for help > Will-Be going to    

Will-Be going to


Will-Be going to
Hi!! I need some help with the following dialogues. I ´m not sure which is the correct option in each exampleConfused. If you know any ´trick ´ to identify when to use ´will ´ and when ´be going to ´, please let me know!!! Thanks in advance!
     Ted: I’ve got a lot of homework to do tonight.

    Dad: Don’t worry. I will / am going to help you. Let’s start.


    Shop Assistant: Which shorts would you like to buy?
           Alexander: I will / am going to buy the red shorts.

25 Sep 2010      

manonski (f)

It worked!!!

25 Sep 2010     


Yes!!! Thanks!!!

25 Sep 2010     


Hi, Gise! This is how I explain to my students the difference between BE GOING TO & SIMPLE FUTURE: The first one has only two uses: predictions with present signs/evidence (eg: Look at those black clouds! It IS GOING TO RAIN soon.) and plans/intentions (eg: I ´m not sure; I haven ´t chosen the movie yet but I ´m going to see a movie this weekend) And Simple Future is used in these 6 cases:
* predictions without signs (it ´s just what you think, you ´re opinion)
* pure future (I ´m 37; I will be 38 next year- ONLY with verb TO BE)
* offers (You look tired; I ´ll do the washing up for you.)
* requests (Open the window, will you? or Will you open the window, please?)
* promises (I will love you forever)
* sudden decisions (A- Oops! I ´ve spilt my wine over your carpet! B- Don ´t worry! I ´ll clean it rightaway) You were not planning to do something but given the circumstance you need to take a new course of action (I also call this use PLAN B)

It seems to me that the two sentences you have posted are good examples of this last use.

I hope I ´ve helped!
Have a great weekend!

25 Sep 2010     


Hi Gise!
We use "will" in many situations:
- to predict future events which are not already decided or obviously on the way. eg.: "I think Liverpool will win"
- to tell people about a decision as we make it, for instance if we are agreeing to something. E.g.: "Ok. We ´ll buy the tickets if you ´ll buy supper after the show." or "The phone is ringing. I ´ll answer it." (You make the decision at the moment of speaking, not before)
"Going to" often emphasises the idea of intention, of a decision that has already been made. Eg.: "We ´re going to get a new car soon." / "I ´m going to keep asking her out until she says ´Yes ´".
About your sentences, now.
 The 1st one, I would definitely say "I will help you. Let ´s start." (not "going to" because it ´s a decision you make at the moment of speaking, not something you have decided before)
2nd one: I think both are possible. I think it depends on the situation. If Alexander decided to take those shorts at the right moment when the shop assistant asked him, I would choose "will", but if Alexander have already seen other shorts in the shop and seen the red ones and previously decided he would buy those and not other ones, then I would have to say to use "going to". (However, I think the 1st situation is more common LOL! So "will" is right.)
I hope this helps.
Hugs from Portugal,
P.S.: By the way, I used "Practical English Usage", by Michael Swan, to give the grammar explanations and examples. It´s a great grammar book to explain things like this.

25 Sep 2010     


Silvana and Patricia:
                                   thanks a lot!!! 
I have a better idea now! Thanks for taking your time to clear my doubts.
Have a nice weekend!!

25 Sep 2010     

United States

Patricia ´s explanation of the second situation is excellent! One more note. We would say "I ´ll buy the red shorts." Both Silvana and Patricia gave you great answers. Patricia is also correct that both sentences work for the second example, depending on when the decision was made.

25 Sep 2010