Do I use the simple future tense or the "be going to" tense in a situation that has not yet happened?

  1. Help! I will fall.
  2. Help! I am going to fall

My approach:

I think the action will happen in the future. Hence we will fall if no one helps. Therefore, I think the simple future tense will is correct.

Am I right In my approach?

  • 1
    Even further..you can also say: *Help, I am falling" though you have not started falling!
    – Maulik V
    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:02
  • @MaulikV You mean Both can be used? Oct 7, 2015 at 8:05
  • Okay, a couple of questions from you having the same doubt. Well, you can surely use 'will' or 'present tense' to talk about things happening for sure or in very near future. Also, to describe the current status though the event has not completely finished, you can use 'present continuous'. So, here, "Help, I'm going to fall"; "Help, I'm falling", "Help, or else I'll fall" all mean the same if you are on the edge of something and about to fall if there's no help.
    – Maulik V
    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:06
  • @MaulikV But the Ans given is I am going to fall Why? Oct 7, 2015 at 8:09
  • Most punctuation marks do not eliminate the need for spaces between words. The slash in "will/am" is one of the few exceptions.
    – Jasper
    Oct 7, 2015 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


Your approach is about probability of an event in the future but for this case, custom rules govern.

"am going to" is better to describe an immediate action, for example, the falling is going to happen in few seconds.

"Am falling" or "am about to fall" is also fine, serving a function similar to "am going to".

"Will fall" seems to lead people think that the falling is not going to happen soon, or only conditionally happens. For example,

"Help prepare my funeral tonight. I will fall at 10pm sharp." (Not going to happen soon.)

"Help reduce the weight or the plane will fall in an hour." (Conditionally happen)

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