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8.3. Expressing the future.

1. We use the future simple (will) to express future intentions that are decided at the time of speaking (spontaneous offers, decisions, promises).

‘I am so hungry.’ ‘I’ll make some sandwiches.’

‘What yould you like to drink?’ ‘I’ll have a coffee, please.’

I won’t tell her what you said. I promise.

Will is also used to predict the future, when you say what will happen or what you think will happen. These predictions are based on personal opinion or judgement (not on evidence).

She won’t pass the exam because she hasn’t studied.

I am sure you’ll like his new book.

2. The going to form can also be used for prediction. However, in this case, the prediction is based on present evidence.

The lift is going to break down. (I can hear strange noises.)

Look at those clouds. It’s going to rain.

This form can also be used to express future intentions. However, in this case, these intentions have already been decided before the time of speaking.

‘Why do you need so much sugar?’ ‘I am going to make a cake.’

‘Has Julia decided on what to do when she leaves school?’ ‘Yes. She has planned everything. She is going to have a holiday for a month and then she is going to start an English course.’