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    #1

    Future

    Can you please help me with the following. Please have a look at the sentence. I'm sorry dinner isn't ready yer, but it...
    There are three options available: (a) is going to be ready in a minute (b) will have been ready in a minute (c) will be ready in a minute.

    Firstly I guided the rule where it is said that "going to" is also used to describe an event whose cause is presentamd evident. Look at that tree! It's going to fall.

    However it appeared that the correct answer is (c). Can you please explain me why I was wrong. Thanks

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    #2

    Re: Future

    Either (a) or (c) is acceptable. From Onestopenglish.com: "The difference between will and going to (not to mention other ways of expressing futurity) is so subtle that it cannot be easily conveyed through rules or isolated examples. Moreover, often the two forms are interchangeable (I think it will rain/I think it’s going to rain) or the meaning overlaps to such an extent that there is no risk of the learner being misunderstood."

    Visit the site (and others) for additional explanation of the rules for use of either form.

  1. mayita1usa's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Future

    Although I agree with BillMCD's post above, I have another simplified 'rule' that I teach my students that may help you more than the one you found:

    - going to is used when an action or response is planned or has some other kind of preparation or warning in advance (i.e. you can see that the tree is going to fall - you have warning)

    - will is used when the action or response is more spontaneous, or decided in the moment without forethought

    In the case of your example, I'm sorry dinner isn't ready yet, but it...

    (a) is going to be ready in a minute. (To me, this means the speaker has a firm plan for the dinner, and came to advise the guests to take their seats.)

    (c) will be ready in a minute. (In my mind, this is more of a spontaneous response to a spontaneous question, Where's dinner?)

    In other words, they are both "correct", but the subtle difference in usage depends on the situation. Probably your exercise gives answer (c) as the correct one because that situation is more common.

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    #4

    Re: Future

    I'm a native speaker and I don't recognize any distinction between the two answers in this setting. "It'll be ready in a minute" and "it's going to be ready in a minute" mean the same thing to me.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Future

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I'm a native speaker and I don't recognize any distinction between the two answers in this setting. "It'll be ready in a minute" and "it's going to be ready in a minute" mean the same thing to me.
    While I agree with SoothingDave, I also know that what mayita is teaching is the most widely accepted way of teaching beginners and lower intermediates about the future.

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    #6

    Re: Future

    going to is used for future planing but will is used for quick decision so the answer will be (c)

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    #7

    Re: Future

    i agree with you ola i think the answer is (c) as will used for fasted dicissions

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Future

    But unless I"m reading this wrong, mayita suggested "will is used when the action or response is more spontaneous, or decided in the moment without forethought." Yet there is nothing spontaneous about dinner that is not yet ready but so far along that it is only another moment or two before it will be ready. Yet the answer was "will."

    So, 1) There's no difference in the way this native speaker would use those phrases here, and 2) if "will" suggests spontaneity, how is it the answer to this question, with dinner preparations well under way?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: Future

    Thank you. I thought that "will" is used as a sort of prediction - that grammar says that "will is normally known as the predictive future, and desribes known facts......" so the speaker predicts that the dinner will be ready in a minute (after looking at it or tasting it). Am I right?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Future

    Quote Originally Posted by olegv View Post
    ... so the speaker predicts that the dinner will be ready in a minute (after looking at it or tasting it). Am I right?
    It could also be taken as a promise on the part of the speaker. 'Will' is used with many shades of meaning, and it is not always possible to say which was intended in a particular example.

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