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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Hello all

    I’m trying to get the hang of ”the future” – grammatically speaking anyway. I’m sitting here with “Cambridge Grammar in Use” and “Oxford Practical English Usage”.

    Both books agree, that we use ‘will’ when talking about impulsive decisions made right here and now, whereas ‘going to’ (and future continuous) are used when talking about decisions already made.

    However!


    Oxford says that ‘going to’ can be used with commands:

    You’re going to finish that soup / You’re finishing that soup
    You’re going to take that medicine / You’re taking that medicine

    BUT, that ‘will’ is often used giving promises and threats AND instructions and orders:

    I’ll hit you if you do that again
    You’ll suffer for this
    Will you be quiet, please!

    Wouldn’t it then be just as appropriate to use ‘will’ when commanding someone to do something? Like:

    You will eat that soup
    You will take that medicine

    Can anyone sort this out for me? Or is it just one of many “grey” areas?

    Kind regards

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by just.learning View Post
    Oxford says that ‘going to’ can be used with commands:

    You’re going to finish that soup / You’re finishing that soup
    You’re going to take that medicine / You’re taking that medicine

    BUT, that ‘will’ is often used giving promises and threats AND instructions and orders:

    I’ll hit you if you do that again
    You’ll suffer for this
    Will you be quiet, please!

    Wouldn’t it then be just as appropriate to use ‘will’ when commanding someone to do something? Like:

    You will eat that soup
    You will take that medicine

    Can anyone sort this out for me? Or is it just one of many “grey” areas?
    It's a 'grey area' only if you think that in any particular situation only one construction is possible. There is a difference in the way speakers have approached a situation when when choose to say "You are going to eat that soup" or "You will eat that soup". However, at the moment of the words being uttered, there is no practical difference between 'going to' and 'will'.

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    #3

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    In all of these constructions, it is the tone of the human voice that makes the imperative clear.

    When such phrases are written, the skill of the writer and the imagination and training of the reader create the context necessary to understand the command.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    And you can using "going to" for threats as well. You're going to regret the day you were born.
    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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    #5

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Both books agree, that we use ‘will’ when talking about impulsive decisions made right here and now, whereas ‘going to’ (and future continuous) are used when talking about decisions already made.
    I really don't believe that this distinction between will/going to is actually followed by native speakers. They're pretty much interchangeable to me.

  4. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    And you can using "going to" for threats as well. You're going to regret the day you were born.
    Me? Why?
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  5. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Nice, guys! Thank you for your inputs!

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    #8

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Me? Why?
    Since when did threats require explanations? Because- that's why.

  6. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Since when did threats require explanations? Because- that's why.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Future: Expressing orders, commands and giving threats and instructions

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    So that's what you look like.

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