WILL / GOING TO / -ING

WILL / (BE) GOING TO / (BE) -ING

I will study! I’m going to study! I’m studying tonight!
What’s the difference? Let’s find out!

WILL

Immediate Decisions
  • It’s 11pm. I think I’ll go to bed now.
  • I’ll have a cheeseburger and fries, please.
Prediction based on personal opinions or experiences
  • I think my sister will win the race.  
  • She probably won’t pass her English test.
Future Fact
  • The sun will rise at 6am tomorrow morning.
  • The restaurant will close at 10pm.
Offers / promises
  • I’ll help you with your homework.
  • I won’t tell anyone your secret.

(BE) GOING TO

Prior Plans
  • I’m going to visit South Korea next week. I’ve already bought my ticket.
  • We’re going to Din Tai Fung tonight. I’ve called and reserved a table.
Prediction based on facts or evidence
  • Look at those dark clouds! It’s going to rain.
  • It’s 35 degrees out today!  It definitely isn’t going to snow.
Something that is about to happen
  • Run away! The tiger is going to attack!
  • Be careful! You’re going to fall.

(BE) -ING

Happening now
  • I’m studying English now. 
  • I’m walking to work now. 
Future arrangements (a plan you have thought about or discussed with someone else)
  • I’m meeting my friend tonight.
  • I’m visiting my grandparents on Saturday. 
BEWARE! Some words do not use ING!
    • I’m going to be happy tomorrow. 
    • I’ll be happy tomorrow.
    • I’m being happy tomorrow. Don’t use “ing” with state verbs

Learn More about State Verbs here.

Download a PDF of this lesson here.

Download a practice worksheet here.

Mark Schenker

Originally from the United States, Mark has been teaching English abroad for the past five years. He worked in Japan before moving to Singapore. He loves learning new languages and takes pride in helping English Language Learners.

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