Intermediate grammar exercise: future simple (will) or ‘going to’ future



In this exercise you will practise the future simple (will) versus the ‘going to’ future.

Instructions: Use the words in brackets to put the following into the correct tense – the future simple (will) or ‘going to’ future.


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Structure of future simple
positive negative question
I will (I'll) be there tomorrow. I won't (will not) be there. Will I be there tomorrow?
you will, he will, she will, it will, we will, they will you will not, he will not, she will not, it will not, we will not, they will not will you?, will he?, will she?, will it?, will we?, will they?

Structure of 'going to' future
positive negative question
I'm (I am) going to take my holidays in August. I'm (I am) not going to take a holiday this year. Are you going to take a holiday?
He's (he is) going to watch TV this evening. He isn't (is not) going to watch TV this evening. Is he going to watch TV this evening?





Future simple – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
The phone's ringing.
~ OK, I'm going to answer it.
Ok – I'll answer it. If the action is decided at the moment of speaking, we mostly use will.
I'm sure he is going to help you. I'm sure he will help you. When we say what we think or expect, we use will.
I won't probably be there. I probably won't be there.
I'll probably be there.
The adverbs definitely and probably come before won't, but after will.
I promise I'm going to help. I promise I'll help. After promise we usually use will, not the 'going to' future.
I'll call you when I'll get to my office. I'll call you when I get to my office. When we refer to the future in adverbial clauses, we normally use the present simple (after when, as soon as and until).
If you will give me your address, I'll send you a postcard. If you give me your address, I'll send you a postcard. When we refer to the future in conditional clauses, we usually use the present simple.
I can't see you next week – I will return to Paris. I can't see you next week – I am returning / am going to return to Paris. For decisions made in the past and for things we have arranged, we use the present continuous or the 'going to' future.

'Going to' for the future – common mistakes
Common mistakes Correct version Why?
You know that I'll buy a new car, don't you? You know that I'm going to buy a new car, don't you? We use going to for a future action that has been decided before the time of speaking.
Look! You'll drop your books. Look! You're going to drop your books. We use going to if we see (and are sure) that the action will happen.