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ESL forum > Ask for help > will-future vs going to    

will-future vs going to



tomandmary
Germany

will-future vs going to
 
How would you explain the different use of the two tenses? Are both choices possible or rather only "going to"?
Have a nice day!
 
The Movie started at 8 o ´clock, it ´s nearly a quarter to nine now. We _______________ (be) late. 
We are going to be late. We will be late. ???

9 Jan 2016      



Giulietta66
Switzerland

hi!
 
I think you should use the present perfect... now it ´s a fact: they ARE late...
 
but if you ´d changed your sentence a bit like:
 
the movie starts in 5 minutes:
 
1. we are going to be late (plan - quite sure about it)
2. we will be late (prediction - not too sure about it) 
 
that ´s what I think...
 
it depends what you want to say... but if you ask your students to find the right answer, in that case, you could put absolutely anything in it... it ´s the context that tells you what to write.
 
have a good one 
 

9 Jan 2016     



tomandmary
Germany

thanks a lot !
I think the German translation leads to the use of a future tense which might be wrong for native speakers. So present perfect would actually be right ...
Enjoy the week-end!

9 Jan 2016     



tomandmary
Germany

thanks a lot !
I think the German translation leads to the use of a future tense which might be wrong for native speakers. So present perfect would actually be right ...
Enjoy the week-end!

9 Jan 2016     



alien boy
Japan

Personally, I ´d say they are interchangeable in the rephrased example

 
The movie starts in 5 minutes:
 
1. We are going to be late.
2. We will be late. 
 
´going to ´, in this instance, indicates definite signs/probability that the outcome ´be late ´ will occur.  
´Will ´ is a vey strong word, so as a prediction it indicates a definite rather than an indefinite situation.
 
 In your original example
The Movie started at 8 o ´clock, it ´s nearly a quarter to nine now. We _______________ (be) late.  
 
It isn ´t a future context, it ´s present. We would use something more like ´We are already late. ´ 
 
Cheers,
AB 
 

11 Jan 2016