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What is the difference in meaning between be going to and will with an if-clause in the context of showing someone around? For example:

If you look to the right, you will see an old castle.

If you look to the right, you are going to see an old castle.

2 Answers 2

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There is no significant difference in meaning.

The going to version could be considered slightly less formal.

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It depends on the situation. "You are going to see" suggests that something is not visible yet (i.e. 'you will soon be able to see'). It would be valid on a bus tour if the castle is not yet visible from the bus, but will be in a moment.

If the castle is visible at the current moment, another option is:

  • If you look to the right, you can see an old castle.

The one with "you will" (or informally, "you'll") is perfectly idiomatic to say in either situation.

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