[Grammar] will vs going to with probably

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tom3m

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A: The ship is tilting.
B: It will probably sink./It's probably going to sink.


Which one is correct. I am for the one with 'going to' as it is a prediction and we can see something contributing to our assumption that the ship is really about to sink.

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SlickVic9000

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(not a teacher)

Both are correct, but I find myself favoring the second sentence.
 

5jj

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Both are possible.
 

SoothingDave

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"Will" and "going to" is a hot topic around here. My opinion is that most natives use the interchangeably in most situations.

Whether I say "it will rain tomorrow" or "it's going to rain tomorrow" you need to bring an umbrella.
 

tom3m

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Thank you all.
Does the interchangeable usage of them in most situations make all the rules about them worthless? Many times I have been corrected on this and then you are saying that in most cases it does not matter which one we choose.
 

Chicken Sandwich

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Does the interchangeable usage of them in most situations make all the rules about them worthless? Many times I have been corrected on this and then you are saying that in most cases it does not matter which one we choose.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Well, "will" and "be going" are perhaps not always interchangeable. I think that some useful generalisations can be made. For example:

We use will when we make a decision at the moment of speaking and be going to for decisions about the future that have already been made. Compare:
- I'll pick him up at 8.00. (an offer; making an arrangement now) and
- I'm going to collect the children at 8.00. (this was previously arranged)

(Advanced Grammar in Use, Martin Hewings)

However, I don't think of them as "rules", but rather as guidelines.
 
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5jj

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There are notes on will and Be going to here: Ways of Expressing the Future in English.

The notes end with the words: In many sentences, several of the forms can be used perfectly naturally. The final subconscious choice of form is made by speakers at the moment of speaking, and depends on the context of situation as they see it at that moment. Do not think that there is one, and only one, ‘correct’ form in any given situation.
 
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tom3m

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***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Well, "will" and "be going" are perhaps not always interchangeable. I think that some useful generalisations can be made. For example:

We use will when we make a decision at the moment of speaking and be going to for decisions about the future that have already been made. Compare:
- I'll pick him up at 8.00. (an offer; making an arrangement now) and
- I'm going to collect the children at 8.00. (this was previously arranged)

(Advanced Grammar in Use, Martin Hewings)

However, I don't think of them as "rules", but rather as guidelines.

OK, thank you, here's a situation - the decision is made at the moment of speaking but also he has already made the decision at the same time. I know - sounds like a nonsense, but this is exactly the situation I wouldn't solve.

A: Would you like to go out tomorrow.
B: That'd be lovely.
A: OK, I am going to/will wait for you at the station.

Does the difference matter at all in this case?

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SoothingDave

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OK, thank you, here's a situation - the decision is made at the moment of speaking but also he has already made the decision at the same time. I know - sounds like a nonsense, but this is exactly the situation I wouldn't solve.

A: Would you like to go out tomorrow.
B: That'd be lovely.
A: OK, I am going to/will wait for you at the station.

Does the difference matter at all in this case?

Thank you

I say no difference, but "will" is more likely.
 

Chicken Sandwich

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OK, thank you, here's a situation - the decision is made at the moment of speaking but also he has already made the decision at the same time. I know - sounds like a nonsense, but this is exactly the situation I wouldn't solve.

A: Would you like to go out tomorrow.
B: That'd be lovely.
A: OK, I am going to/will wait for you at the station.

Does the difference matter at all in this case?

Thank you

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

Well, it sounds as though A's decision to wait for B was made at the moment of speaking, so I agree with ShootingDave that "will" is more likely. Also, I don't think that you can make the same decision twice. Here, A could not have made his decision without knowing whether or not B would go out tomorrow.

However, I wouldn't worry about it if native speakers say that either one works with no difference in meaning ;-).
 
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