How to Use the Simple Future (Will) and 'Be Going To'

Click here to review how to MAKE this tense
Read about the difference between 'will' and 'be going to' here.

We use the simple future for:

  1. A decision at the moment of speaking:
    A: 'I'm cold'.
    B: 'I'll close the window'.

  2. Prediction based on opinion:
    I think the Conservatives will win the next election.

  3. A future fact:
    The sun will rise at 7am.

  4. Promises / requests / refusal / willingness:
    I'll help you with your homework.
    Will you give me a hand?
    I will give up smoking!

  5. In the same way as the future continuous, but with state verbs:
    I'll be at the station when you arrive.

'Shall' is used mainly in the forms 'shall I ?' and 'shall we?' in British English. These forms are used when you want to get someone's opinion, especially for offers and suggestions:

We use 'be going to' + infinitive for:

  1. Future plans made before the moment of speaking:
    A: 'We've run out of milk.'
    B: 'I know, I'm going to buy some.'

  2. Prediction based on present evidence:
    Look at those boys playing football! They're going to break the window.

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'A' and 'The' Explained