Saturday, 27 October 2007

Future Plans and Arrangements

Going to vs Will:

Exercise 1
Exercise 2

Now you can listen to a very clear explanation from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1649_gramchallenge34/



Nuala’s Grammar Explanation
Today we’re looking at and contrasting two ways to talk about future plans, using ‘going to’ and
‘will’.
In an earlier programme we saw that ‘going to’ can be used to talk about your intentions or
decisions for the future.
Example sentences
I’m going to study medicine at university.
I’m going to visit my mother at the weekend.
I’m going to get a new car on Saturday.
‘Will’, on the other hand, can used to talk about future decisions made at the moment of
speaking for things that aren’t planned. Listen:
Diarmuid: I’ll go up to bed now.
In this example, the speaker hasn’t planned to go to bed early but because he suddenly feels tired
he decides to go to bed. Mary, on the other hand, has planned to finish reading part of her book
so says:
Mary: I’m just going to finish reading this chapter.
‘Will’ is a modal form and doesn’t change whatever the subject and it’s followed by the
infinitive without ‘to’. In spoken English we tend to contract will (I will, I’ll, you will, you’ll
and so on). Listen:
Diarmuid: I’ll go up to bed now.
Mary: … then I’ll come right up.

So, to recap then: We can use ‘going to’ to talk about intentions or decisions for the future and
we can use ‘will’ to talk about decisions made at the moment of speaking.
Find out more
Subject will base infinitive
I
s / he
you
we
they
will
'll
go to bed now.
have an early night.
go to the shops, if you like.
answer the door.
bring a cake.
look after it for you.

Practice activities


Will and going to
Exercise 1:
Some friends are going to have a party and they are discussing the arrangements. Match the
beginnings and ends of the suggestions they make.
1. I’ve got a printer so a. I’ll bring my guitar.
2. I’m good at baking so b. I’ll make the invitations.
3. I’ve got loads of CDs so c. I’ll supply the flowers.
4. I live near the supermarket so d. I’ll bring them.
5. I’ve got a big garden so e. I’ll buy the drinks.
6.
I’ve just had a party and I’ve got
some left-over paper plates.
f. I’ll bring some sausages.
7. I work in a butchers shop so g. I’ll make a cake.
8. If we want to have some live music
h. I’ll organise the music.


Will and going to
Exercise 2:
Read the sentences and choose the best option from the choices below to complete the text.
I.
A: I’ve booked the tickets. I’m so glad (1)__________ to Spain on holiday.
B: When (2)__________ ?
II.
A: I’m off to the shops. Do you want anything?
B: Let me think … oh yes, I need some stamps.
A: OK, no problem, (3) __________ to the post office anyway to send Mum’s birthday present
so I’ll get some while I’m there.
III.
A: Does anyone want to come to the cinema with me tonight?
B: Sure! (4)__________ with you. I haven’t got any plans for this evening.
IV.
A: What are you doing this weekend?
B: I don’t know. Maybe (5)__________ some studying or I might not!
A: I’ve booked a tennis court but can’t find anyone to play with me.
B: (6)__________with you. That’s sounds much more fun than studying!
Options
(1) I’m going to visit / I’ll visit
(2) will you go / are you going
(3) I’ll pop in / I’m going to pop in
(4) I’m going to come / I’ll come
(5) I’m going to do / I’ll do
(6) I’ll play / I’m going to play



Will and going to
Exercise 1: ANSWERS
Some friends are going to have a party and they are discussing the arrangements. Match the
beginnings and ends of the suggestions they make.
1. I’ve got a printer so b. I’ll make the invitations.
2. I’m good at baking so g. I’ll make a cake.
3. I’ve got loads of CDs so h. I’ll organise the music.
4. I live near the supermarket so e. I’ll buy the drinks.
5. I’ve got a big garden so c. I’ll supply the flowers.
6.
I’ve just had a party and I’ve got
some left-over paper plates.
d. I’ll bring them.
7. I work in a butchers shop so f. I’ll bring some sausages.
8. If we want to have some live music,
a. I’ll bring my guitar.
BBC Learning English – Grammar Challenge
Grammar Challenge © BBC Learning English 2007
Page 5 of 5
bbclearningenglish.com
Will and going to
Exercise 2: ANSWERS
Read the sentences and choose the best option from the choices below to complete the text.
I.
A: I’ve booked the tickets. I’m so glad (1)__________ to Spain on holiday.
B: When (2)__________ ?
II.
A: I’m off to the shops. Do you want anything?
B: Let me think … oh yes, I need some stamps.
A: OK, no problem, (3) __________ to the post office anyway to send Mum’s birthday present
so I’ll get some while I’m there.
III.
A: Does anyone want to come to the cinema with me tonight?
B: Sure! (4)__________ with you. I haven’t got any plans for this evening.
IV.
A: What are you doing this weekend?
B: I don’t know. Maybe (5)__________ some studying or I might not!
A: I’ve booked a tennis court but can’t find anyone to play with me.
B: (6)__________with you. That’s sounds much more fun than studying!
ANSWERS
(1) I’m going to visit
(2) are you going
(3) I’m going to pop in
(4) I’ll come
(5) I’ll do
(6) I’ll play


Present Continuous:
Notes
Notes and exercises