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    #1

    How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    I am a Brazilian student, and would like to know some tips to learn to use "I will" and "I'm going to"?

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    You may find this helpful:

    Ways of Expressing the Future in English



    A look at seven ways of expressing the future in English

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    #3

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    Short answer:

    "I will do the housework" - I'm saying that at some time in the future I intend to do the housework.
    "I'm going to do the housework" - Means I'm about to start the housework.

    However, we can easily qualify these sentences, like this:

    "I will do the housework tomorrow" - I intend to do it tomorrow. The same as the first example, except I've been more precise about "when".
    "I'm going to do the housework tomorrow" - Now this means the same as the previous sentence.

    One more fine difference:

    "I will go to the store" - I'm only promising that I will go (in the future), I'm not committing to "when".
    "I'm going to the store" - I am right now in the process of going; I might say this to someone who asks me where I am going as I walk down the street.

    "I will" is always making a statement of intent about the future. A qualification could change the specificity of "when", but not the future aspect of the statement.

    "I'm going to" is generally something you are in the middle of right now, but can be easily qualified to mean something you are about to begin or something you intend to do later.

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    #4

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post
    "I'm going to the store" - I am right now in the process of going;
    That's the present progressive form of GO. The BE going to version would be I am going to go to the store.

    "I'm going to" is generally something you are in the middle of right now, .
    We are very rarely in the middle of something that we are going to do. If we were in the middle of it, we would say I'm doing ... .

    I think you are confusing the present progressive of GO as a full verb, and that form used as an auxiliary verb in the construction of one way of expressing the future.
    Last edited by Piscean; 21-Sep-2016 at 09:06.

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    #5

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That's the present progressive form of GO. The BE going to version would be I am going to go to the store.We are very rarely in the middle of something that we are going to do. If we were in the middle of it, we would say I'm doing ... .

    I think you are confusing the present progressive of GO as a full verb, and that form used as an auxiliary verb in the construction of one way of expressing the future.
    I hear you, but you cannot mix, "I'm going to", with "I'm going to do". Totally different.

    "I'm going to the store" is present progressive, as I gave in my example.

    "I'm going to do the dishes" is usually, if you'll pardon me inventing something, "imminent future" unless qualified.

    I won't tangle with you grammatically on this, but I will on "usage". We use "I'm going to do", generally as we are in motion towards the stated intent, but not yet engaged in the activity itself. If I'm sitting, and suddenly rise and start walking out of the room, and someone asks me what I'm doing, or where I am going, I would answer, "I'm going to do the dishes"; meaning I'm not doing them yet, but I'm in the process of doing what I need to do in order to make doing the dishes possible. In this case, physically relocating to the kitchen.

    But a woman about to do some knitting in her comfortable chair, who is sitting in that chair with everything she needs to hand, and begins winding her wool bundles, might say she is "going to knit something".

    Have I missed something here?

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    #6

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post

    "I'm going to do the dishes" is usually, if you'll pardon me inventing something, "imminent future" unless qualified.
    The BE going to way of expressing the future does not of itself refer to an 'imminent future'. It refers to a future situation for which there is present evidence.
    We use "I'm going to do", generally as we are in motion towards the stated intent, but not yet engaged in the activity itself.
    That may be how this form was originally used, but any suggestion of physical motion is purely coincidental nowadays. There is not the slightest idea of motion in, for example "Look at those black clouds. It's going to rain soon", "I'm going to stay here in Prague for a couple of years at least" or your woman about to do some knitting in her comfortable chair, who is sitting in that chair with everything she needs to hand, and begins winding her wool bundles, might say she is "going to knit something".

    Have I missed something here?
    Possibly. Did you have a look at the article I mentioned in post 2?

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    #7

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post
    I hear you, but you cannot mix, "I'm going to", with "I'm going to do". Totally different.
    Quite. However, in response to a question about the BE going to form you gave an example with the normal present progressive of GO.

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    I think 'I am soon going to the store' refers to the near future.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: How can I use "I will' and "I'm going to"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post
    I hear you, but you cannot mix, "I'm going to", with "I'm going to do". Totally different.

    <snip>

    Have I missed something here?
    Yes. The original post was almost certainly asking how to use I will and I'm going to as auxiliaries, as in I will go to the store and I'm going to go to the store. This can be a tricky point for learners.
    I am not a teacher.

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