The Future – will go
Some people have been taught that ‘will’ is ‘the future’ in English. This is not correct. Sometimes when we talk about the future we cannot use ‘will’. Sometimes when we use ‘will’ we are not talking about the future.
We can use ‘will’ to talk about future events we believe to be certain.
The sun will rise over there tomorrow morning.
Next year, I’ll be 50.
That plane will be late. It always is.
There won’t be any snow. I’m certain. It’s too warm.

Often we add ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘probably’, ‘possibly’ to make the belief less certain.
I’ll probably come back later.
He’ll possibly find out when he sees Jenny.
Maybe it will be OK.
Perhaps we’ll meet again some day.

We often use ‘will’ with ‘I think’ or ‘I hope’.
I think I’ll go to bed now.
I think she’ll do well in the job.
I hope you’ll enjoy your stay.
I hope you won’t make too much noise.

We use ‘will’ at the moment we make a new decision or plan. The thought has just come into our head.
Bye. I’ll phone you when I get there.
I’ll answer that.
I’ll go.
I won’t tell him. I promise.

The Future – will or going to
When we want to talk about future facts or things we believe to be true about the future, we use ‘will’.
The President will serve for four years.
The boss won’t be very happy.
I’m sure you’ll like her.
I’m certain he’ll do a good job.


If we are not so certain about the future, we use ‘will’ with expressions such as ‘probably’, ‘possibly’, ‘I think’, ‘I hope’.
I hope you’ll visit me in my home one day.
She’ll probably be a great success.
I’ll possibly come but I may not get back in time.
I think we’ll get on well.

If you are making a future prediction based on evidence in the present situation, use ‘going to’.
Not a cloud in the sky. It’s going to be another warm day.
Look at the queue. We’re not going to get in for hours.
The traffic is terrible. We’re going to miss our flight.
Be careful! You’re going to spill your coffee.
At the moment of making a decision, use ‘will’. Once you have made the decision, talk about it using ‘going to’.
I’ll call Jenny to let her know. Sarah, I need Jenny’s number. I’m going to call her about the meeting.
I’ll come and have a drink with you but I must let Harry know. Harry, I’m going to have a drink with Simon.

The Future – present forms
We use the present continuous to talk about things that we have already arranged to do in the future.
I’ve got my ticket. I’m leaving on Thursday.
I’m seeing Julie at 5 and then I’m having dinner with Simon.
He’s picking me up at the airport.
The company is giving everyone a bonus for Christmas.
In many situations when we talk about future plans we can use either the present continuous or the ‘going to’ future. However, when we use the present continuous, there is more of a suggestion that an arrangement has already been made.
I’m going to see him./I’m seeing him
I’m going to do it./I’m doing it.

We use the present simple to talk about events in the future which are ‘timetabled’. We can also use the present continuous to talk about these.
My planes leaves at 6 in the morning.
The shop opens at 9.30.
The sun rises a minute earlier tomorrow.
My plane is leaving at 8.30.
The shop is closing at 7.00.
The sun is rising at 6.32 tomorrow.