piromi asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

"will" and "be going to"?

I am a student who is studying English in Japan.

Yesterday, in my class, we took an English test.

There was a question like the following. 

・This is his first new book in almost a decade so we _____________ ( will / are going to ) have a very special book launch.

My answer was "will" and it was wrong.

My teacher explained like this:

if you have a prior plan to do something, use, "going to", if you are expressing willingness or voluntary action, use will.

I still don't understand why my answer was wrong. 

In the sentence above, do you native English speakers think "we" had a prior plan?

Dose "we will have a very special book launch"sound so odd to you?


Thank you Brisco! Your explanation is very clear.

4 Answers

  • Brisco
    Lv 5
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    The difference between "will" and "going to" is intention. "will", in this context, would not express any emotion or intention. But the speaker clearly wishes to express enthusiasm, because "it's his first book in a decade", which makes it something special. Therefore, "going to" is what someone would say. 

    If used here, "will"– which can have different meanings depending on the context (and the stress given by the speaker) – would simply be a linear telling of events, which expresses no enthusiasm or intention. That's why it's the wrong answer for that question. "will" isn't wrong grammatically, but given a choice between the two, they clearly wanted you to choose "going to", which fits better. 

    The teacher's explanation isn't wrong, but it is incomplete (as you have stated it).

    Verbs are probably the #1 area that non-native speakers get the most confused about.  But it's not that difficult.  You just have to study it and do exercises such as that one until the nuances become clearer.

    Source(s): native English speaker - US
  • 1 month ago

    Thank you carlo. The examples are simple and easy to understand. 

    Thank you Augie, it gave me inspiration.

  • 1 month ago

    I'll give you an example.


    A: Have you finished your homework?

    B: I'll do it after dinner.

    2) Have you finished your homework?

    B: I'm going to do it after dinner. 

    1 means that the person B made his plan when the person A asked the question.

    2 means that the person B had already made his plan before the person A asked the question.

  • 2 months ago

    From the time of Shakespeare until now, the word 'going' has changed from an action verb to --- I forget the Linguistics term -- to a different form So we can now say "I am going to stay here" -- which would have made no sense centuries ago because 'going' meant movement. We can however say I am going to go -- and use it in both senses !!!

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