In formal English (or written English), I'm super sure that the Be going to and Will rules are "respected". (Correct me if I'm wrong) For example, probably in formal English, they probably use "Going to" for things planned and "Will" for things decided at the moment of speaking.

But, does this happen in Colloquial/Iformal English? Sure, we've got the expressions "I will help ya!" (Instead of "I'm gonna help ya"), and "I'm gonna visit my grandma next weekend" (instead of "I'll visit my grandma next weekend), but, sometimes I see "going to" instead of "will" and when someone use "going to" or "Will", I wonder why, because, the rules say that "going to is for that" and "will is for this", though, I don't know why someone use this tense instead of that one.

And, Of course there are native speakers that don't know the difference between them. The thing I wanna point out is: Is there really a difference between "Going to" and "Will" in Informal English? Or, the rules are just for formal English only?

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    There are no such rules for formal English. Which you use is up to you. Commented Sep 26, 2019 at 1:18

1 Answer 1


There is no such rule, either in formal or informal English.

There is a tendency for "going to" to be used to describe plans, but in many situations, both ways of talking about the future are possible and correct. A study of when "going to" is used will find lots of examples of it being used (both formally and informally) in situations when no clear plan in involved, and similarly with will. Both the following are correct and formal.

It is going to rain tomorrow. (no plan)

What will you do next weekend? (asking about a plan)

There are times when a particular form of the future can add nuance:

I will pass this test. (indicating determination)

But very often the choice of verb form is a matter of option. It is like having two words that are synonyms. You can use either and it is correct.


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