Morning! I'm just wondering about a phrase that I've just seen. Can somebody help me?

In the sentence: "The train will leave at 11:45". I think that the speaker is saying something that he actually knows, so it's a prediction based on something he can see (or hear), right? So, shouldn't we use GOING TO instead of WILL?

Because I've read that WILL is for predictions based on our opinion. Am I misinterpreting?



1 Answer 1


You are never required to use "going to." You can always use "will" instead of "going to," though it often sounds more formal. But the reverse isn't true: in some contexts, you can't use "going to" and need to use "will."

Incidentally, in this particular case native speakers would often use the simple present: "The train leaves at 11:45." Edit: This is because we often use the simple present to describe future events that occur at a known, scheduled time.

  • 1
    Mostly agreed, but I don't think the simple present is really used because the train always does that - we use the simple present for a lot of scheduled events, like "My plane lands in Paris at 8 PM tomorrow."
    – stangdon
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 15:34
  • 1
    Good point, edited.
    – alphabet
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 15:37
  • 1
    You are never "required" to use either one.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 16:15
  • "Watch out! That dog is going to bite!" doesn't mean the same as "Watch out! That dog will bite!", so that's at least one context where you're "required" to use one or the other, depending on what you mean. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 18:28
  • 1
    Thanks everyone! It's awesome have people to help English learners here!
    – Honda
    Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 21:49

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