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Use will to talk about something that you think will happen.

  • I think he’ll win the election.
  • He will be a good doctor.

Use be going to to talk about something that you see is going to happen (there is present evidence).

  • Don’t drive like a crazy man. We’re going to have an accident!
  • The doctor said I’m going to have a girl.

Sometimes there’s little difference between will  and be going to for predictions. Compare:

  • The conference starts in 10 minutes. We are going to be late. (=I can see that we cannot be at the conference in 10 minutes)
  • We need to hurry up. We’ll be late for the conference. (=I think we will be late)



Use will for decisions that you take at the moment of speaking (instant decisions).

  • ‘Oh, we don’t have sugar.’ ‘Don’t worry, I’ll buy some.’

Use be going to for decisions that you have already taken at the moment of speaking (intentions or plans).

  • ‘Why are you undressing?’ ‘Because I’m going to go for a swim.’

Compare these two sentences:

  • ‘Sarah said she needs to talk to you.’ ‘Oh, I didn’t know. I’ll call her in a minute.’ (=I took the decision while having this conversation.)
  • ‘Sarah said she needs to talk to you.’ ‘Yes, I know. I’m going to call her in a minute.‘ (=I took the decision before having this conversation.)