How To Talk About the Future

Do you know how to express your upcoming adventures or commitments in English? Let me see if I can help you.

“Will” for Spontaneous Decisions

We use “will” to talk about spontaneous plans or decisions made on the spur of the moment. Here are some examples:

  • What can I wear to work? I think, I’ll wear my grey suit.” (A spontaneous choice)
  • “Oh dear, I forgot to call my colleague. I’ll do it after lunch.” (A sudden realisation)
  • There’s no bread left. I’ll buy some after I leave the office.” (An unplanned errand)

“Going To” for Pre-Planned Adventures

We use “going to” to talk about pre-decided plans and things we’ve already arranged to do. Here are some examples:

  • I’m going to go to the butcher’s later. What do we need?” (A planned shopping trip)
  • I’m going to call my colleague this afternoon. I told him I’d call around 3 o’clock.” (A pre-arranged call)
  • I’m going to wear my new shoes this evening.” (A pre-decided outfit)

The Present Continuous for Confirmed Commitments

We use the present continuous for those arrangements we’ve already confirmed with others. Here are some examples:

  • I’m having dinner with Maria tonight. We’re going to try that new Italian place.” (A confirmed dinner arrangement with a specific time and place)
  • We’re taking the children to the zoo this weekend. ” (A family outing with a set timeframe)
  • I’m presenting my project at the meeting tomorrow afternoon. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m ready.” (A work commitment with a specific time)


    • Will” is for spontaneous decisions made on the spur of the moment.
    • Going to” is for pre-decided plans you’ve already made.
    • The present continuous is for confirmed arrangements with others.

    So, now you can confidently express all your future plans, be they spur-of-the-moment ideas or well-organised schedules.


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