Which tense is a better fit in the given context? If both, please give your arguments.

A: Now that he has learnt to kite surf, he will participate/is going to participate in a competition on Sunday.

B: That's exciting. I think I'll go to watch him.

2 Answers 2


It all depends on the context.

"A" is assuming the intention of the subject, the one who has learnt to kite: then to be going to is the right choice.

"A" is giving their personal opinion "[I think] he will participate..." then will is the right choice.

  • 1
    This is the correct answer. But note that these scenarios overlap quite a bit, so most of the time, either choice will be fine. Dec 13, 2022 at 12:09

Both are grammatically correct, but they're not the same, and one is better.

As usual, "be going to" is the standard future tense with no extra nuance, just a neutral statement describing a future event.

Using "will", however, carries the nuance that this is a prediction, rather than something known about the future, so it carries less confidence.

While it makes sense to predict he will begin to participate in competitions in general, or in one particular competition, it makes less sense to predict someone will participate in some competition on a specific day.

So, "...participate in a competition on Sunday...", sounds like something the speaker already knows, rather than a prediction, which makes "be going to" a better choice here.

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