Future Predictions - The Earth Day Issue

Grammar Check Up

Here are the rules :
Will and be going to can be used to make predictions about the future.

Weather predictions are the easiest examples to understand:

"Take your umbrella. It's going to rain."
"The weather channel said it will rain tomorrow."
Other predictions:
"Be careful. The vase is too near the border and is going to fall."
"If your sign is Aries, this week will be fantastic."

But... what's the difference? What's the secret?

The KEY word is: EVIDENCE!

If there is evidence for the prediction, like for example a satellite image showing a storm front, GOING TO is the correct tense to use.

If there’s no image showing a storm, but the forecast suggests that there is a possibility, due to certain conditions of the atmosphere, then WILL is the correct form to use.

Other examples of evidence are:

“Jane is going to have a baby.” ( we can see that she’s pregnant)

“If you continue driving so fast in the rain, we are going to have an accident.” (we can almost see an accident happening)

“Surveys show that the candidate is going to win the elections.” (when there’s enough margin to constitute a proof)

Predictions with WILL are more general, and not based on clear evidence:

“I think by 2050, cars will use garbage as fuel.”

“The tarot cards say you will be rich in the future.”

“Paul will love your present!”

Try the following exercise:

  1. Do you think the Republicans or the Democrats (win) the next election?
  1. Be careful with the oven or you (ruin) the cake.
  1. She’s taking 7 courses per year. At this rate, she (graduate) early.
  1. If you keep adding yellow to the red paint, you (obtain) orange, not pink!
  1. The test is very difficult and I haven’t studied at all. I (not pass) it.
  1. Can you see my future in the crystal ball? I want to know if I (get) a new job.
  1. Your chair doesn't look very stable. You (fall).
  1. It’s too hot in the sun and I don’t have a sunblock. I (get) burn.
  1. Germany is winning against France, 5 to 0 and there are only 2 minutes left. Germany (win).
  1. The rubber boat has a hole and the waves are getting higher. We (sink).

Answers here!

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