Exercise 1

Choose the correct forms of will and be going to to complete the sentences below.

1 A: We don’t have any bread.     B: I know. I some. I took some money from your purse.

2 A: We don’t have any bread.     B: Really? I some from the shop then.

3 A: Why do you need to borrow my suitcase?     B: Because I my mother in Scotland next month.

4 A: I’m really cold.     B: I the heating on.

5 A: What are your plans after you leave university?     B: I in a hospital in Africa.

6 A: All the lights have gone off!     B: Don't worry. I a look.

7 A: Why are you carrying your laptop?     B: I some homework on the train.

8 A: I can't find my keys.     B: I you look for them.

9 A: Did you remember to buy the tickets?     B: Oh no, I forgot! I them online now.

10 If you take a look at this graphic, you can see that the economy worse very soon.





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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.)