whats the difference ?

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whats the difference ?

Post by gordo309 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:56 pm

Hi guys,
This may not be the right area to post this question, but I need a bit of help explaining the difference between simple future, and present continuous used as future. The only difference I can tell is that when you use present continuous as a future you just add in a word referencing to time like: tomorrow, or this weekend etc. When you use simple future you just reference to the future, like Sarah will go to school. If you have a better explanation for this topic I would appreciate the feed back.

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Will and going to

Post by FrankS » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:12 am

Interesting problem. It has been years since I gave it any real thought and I was never satisfied with what I came up with then. Let's try now.

First of all, "will" is a modal as well and so maybe we can put it into some context from there.

"Will" is the strongest obligation, but think about personal obligation with modals. We often say we "can" as a rather boastful comment. as in " I can build my own computer" when in fact you have no idea what you are really taking on if you did so. It does not indicate that you have any knowledge or understanding. It is perfectly possible to learn how, but it does not indicate that you have that learning.

Now let us look at that famous expression "I can and I will! Once again often a boastful comment.

The point here is that the future "will" seems to imply an intent that may or may not be grounded in reality. It seems like a momentary decision and, depending on who says it, it might not have the obligation that it implies. A minor caprice is the perfect place for this usage "I will go as well." or "I think I will join you". With more complex plans it might be sailing in more dangerous waters and the obligation may founder.

Now let's look at "going to" first of all, I hate the idea of te term itself, although widely used . It is the gerund and the "to" belongs to the next verb (base root), but where will we be if we question what the grammar books say?

The continuous implies process. In the phrase: "I am going to build my own computer" you are implying (but may not be truthful) that you have had a look at what is needed to accomplish the task and might have priced compomnents and such. It says no such thing but it implies it It sounds like there is a process that has begun.

So if I am correct, then "will" is an intent and "going to" is a process leading to intent, but as always in business English, what is implied may be no more than window dressing. The phrasing selected for effect as opposed to actual meaning.

Who says English teaching is not creative?

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