I know there are several ways of using the Future Tense, one of them being "be going to". This is used for intention, something which has already been planned, for example:

We're going to visit my sister this summer.

Will is used for deciding something at the moment of speaking, eg. "I'll make some coffee." However, why do we use the future with will when we say "I'll be in London next week" or "I'll be in the office tomorrow" when these seem things which have already been planned and are intentional, so why not use "be going to"?

  • 1
    Because it isn't a hard and fast rule, just guidance as to the kind of situation in which the different expressions are mostly used. You could also say "I'm going to be in London next week" - and you could run to the bathroom saying "I'm going to be sick" (vomit), which certainly isn't usually pre-planned! Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 16:04
  • Sorry what does that mean?
    – Lucy
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 16:07
  • I hit return by accident. See also this question Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 16:09
  • And you could say I'm in London next week. There isn't really a future tense in English: there are several different constructions which often have future meaning.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 17:09
  • ell.stackexchange.com/questions/312472/…
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


There is a lot of overlap between the "will" future and the "going to" future.

In many situations, both are possible and both are correct.

In the examples you give "I'm going to be in London next week" is correct. And so is "I'll be in London next week." The difference in meaning so small that it doesn't matter.

"Going to" tends to be used for future events that will occur as a result of current internal conditions (either as plans or not). That explains why "I'm going to be sick" is correct. It means "I feel ill now, and as a result..."

If something is a result of some externality (such as timetable that was set long ago) then "will" is more likely. This might explain why a speaker would use "I'll be in London".

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