A student says: "Will you go to the barbecue tonight?" How do you respond?
The difference between Will and Going to for talking about future plans and arrangements.
How to respond...
A very common mistake, particularly among students who have been taught "in English, the future = will". The student needs to know that, when talking/asking about future plans or arrangements, the Present Progressive (Are you going?), the Future Progressive (Will you be going?) or the 'going to + infinitive' form (Are you going to go?) is needed.
Many students do not realize that to use the interrogative will, instead of an alternative future form (are you going/will you be going/are you going to go, etc) can turn a simple inquiry about someone else's plans or arrangements into a direct - often rude - request.
NB: The possibility that the student actually intended the above question to be a request - though unlikely - should not be ruled out.
Categories: Grammar Topics