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  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    Interested in Language
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    #11

    Re: predictions or arrangements and intentions

    Diamondcutter, you have to have context for a sentence to really mean anything.

    I suppose if I work really hard at it I think of a context for one or both sentences. Would I get credit somehow?
    Not a professional teacher

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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    #12

    Re: predictions or arrangements and intentions

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Would I get credit somehow?
    Sure — we'll double your usual fee.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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    #13

    Re: predictions or arrangements and intentions

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondcutter View Post
    In fact, I'm a teacher of English in China, teaching both primary and high school students. I'm not a native English speaker. Chinese is my mother tongue. Sometimes my students ask me this kind of question. I think maybe it’s necessary for me to know the difference although there’s no need to tell my students. I wonder if you could tell me the difference between the two sample sentences from your point of view.
    The way to begin thinking about it on a more fundamental level is by first recognising this: The version with BE going to has prospective aspect and no modality. The version with will has modality but no aspect.

    Those are not easy concepts to understand. Beware of mentioning this to your students. My personal approach to an issue like this is almost always to supply my students with a practical rule of usage appropriate to their level and to where they currently are in the course of their learning, rather than a technical or conceptual explanation. A useful practical rule here is that when making predictions, both BE going to and will can be used to do approximately the same job. This should be satisfactory to your students. If it isn't, your job is to convince them otherwise.

    As I've suggested, all students are at different levels and have different learning requirements, but I'd imagine that your students' time and energy would be far better spent on learning other, more practical things than on the subtle differences in the minds of the speakers of these utterances. At least at this point in their studies.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 19-Oct-2019 at 09:40.

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