Is it true that only "will" should be in formal situations instead of "going to"? I am quite sure that it is used in newspaper reporting and "going to" is rarely used there.

When "will" is used in a formal context, does it refer to future action but never current intention? If we'd like to express the latter, would we use a phrase like "intend to"?

Also, it seems that in story books "will" is also preferred except in dialogues. Is it true? If so, why?

Many thanks

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jason Bassford, Hellion, Varun Nair, shin, M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Feb 1 at 13:36

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'Will' may seem somewhat more elegant stylistically but both are perfectly allowable in formal contexts, and they are not completely identical semantically. While in most contexts they are interchangeable, there's a slight difference: 'will' states future facts, 'going to' states intent, a decision. The practical result is about universally the same, and the distinction got so blurred over time people will not even blink when they say "it's going to..." about things that don't have feelings or intents. Plus 'will' is used in certain conditionals for which 'going to' just doesn't fit: It will be a cold day in hell if John arrives on time!

  • According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going-to_future, "going to" is more informal: The going-to future is relatively informal; in more formal contexts it may be replaced by the will/shall future, or by expressions such as plan(s) to, expect(s) to, is/are expected to, etc. – Kent Tong Jan 16 at 6:38

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