When I teach Future tenses pupils don´t understand a thing! The problem is in L1 we have only two forms of Future.

The slight differences in English is therefore strange to them.

I tell them the WILL YOU MARRY ME story!  :) It makes them laugh a lot because they are shy!


Let´s say Billy wants to marry Ivana.

He comes to her and asks her if she will marry him. Because he is NOT sure what she will respond he asks with WILL: "Will you marry me?"

She is delighted and responds "Yes, I will!"

He goes home and knowing that she accepted and more sure that it will happen he tells his father with the Going to "Dad, me and Ivana, we are going to get married!"

Arrangements begin and Billy calls his best friend and tells him when and where: "John me and Ivana are getting married 3rd November!" and again asks an insecure question "Will you be my best man?" :)


Before that I tell them the most important with funny examples.  

Will is the most insecure! That´s why it is of course for:

- offers ("Shall I help you carry the bags?)

- promises (because they are rarely ever kept :))

- predictions in a distant future (because you are not sure what will really happen "Some day I will be a millionaire")

- instant decisions without planning before (cafe bar - "I will have a Coca Cola")

GOING TO is for:

- plans and arrangements ("I plan to save money")

- predictions in the near future when it is already certain that something is going to happen (You see a boy on a bike heading for a tree. It is not difficult to predict that "He is going to crash!" :))

- planned decisions (cafe bar - "My stomach hurts. I am going to have some tea")

PRESENT CONTINUOUS is the most secure of all three Future Tenses! It is for plans and arrangements when already set a specific time and place! (I am going to the cinema tonight.")


And again draw a table:

       WILL                         GOING TO                PRESENT CONTINUOUS

    promise, offer                      /                                         /

   prediction 50%             prediction 99%                             /

 instant decision             planned decision                            /

                                             plan                        plan (time and place)



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