I'm writing a story. A burglar breaks into a man's home and threatens him with a gun. As the burglar locks the man into a room so that he can rob his things, the man yells at him -

1) You're not gonna get away with this!

2) You won't get away with this!

3) You'll not get away with this!

4) You're not getting away with this!

Are the suggestions equally natural or are some better to use here than others? Thank you in advance.

  • 1
    (3) sounds weird to my AmE ear, but I'm not sure what the BrE people will say about it...
    – Kevin
    Jun 8, 2020 at 18:01
  • Whether to prefer (1) and (2) or (4) depends on what exactly is going to stop the burglar getting away with it. If something is already happening to stop them, e.g. the police are already on the way, it makes sense to use the present; and there are different forms normally used for near/certain and distant/vague/possible future.
    – Stuart F
    Aug 21, 2023 at 13:06
  • Note that gonna is colloquial/slang for going to. So, it's generally not a good idea to use this word in formal writing. However, it is fine in formal writing when directly quoting spoken English. 2, 3, and 4 are all grammatical. I'm from the UK so I can't really speak for other English speakers, and here at least it would probably be more common to say "You won't get away with this". Also to me "gonna" sounds more American.
    – Billy Kerr
    Dec 19, 2023 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


All the sentences are fine and I don’t see a big difference. I would personally choose the fourth sentence since the use of present continuous tense here describes the event in the near future. The only difference I see between 1 and 2 is that, going to is preferred in spoken English and will is preferred in formal written English. The third sentence is fine but we commonly use “you won’t” instead of “you’ll not”.

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