In French it is "Je ferai" and "Je vais faire."

How can you tell which one to use in English?

Does this question answer it well in your opinion?

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  • Much as you do in French - intuitively. – WS2 Mar 4 '16 at 23:11
  • @WS2 I believe that in French you have to do it - intuitivement, mais oui? – deadrat Mar 5 '16 at 0:21
  • Possible duplicate of "going to" vs "will" – user24743 Mar 5 '16 at 5:10
  • Unfortunately, "intuitively" isn't a helpful answer if your intuition doesn't tell you the right answer. – snailboat Mar 5 '16 at 23:37
  • From what I know of French, using aller as an auxiliary in the manner that we use go is similar, but French appears to use it more often. For example Je vais telephoner à Jeanne en quinze minutes would usually translate I will call Jeanne in fifteen minutes. – BobRodes Mar 6 '16 at 5:31

"I will fix breakfast" indicates that I will (more or less) definitely produce a meal, though possibly not until after my mid-morning nap. "I am going to fix breakfast" indicates that I fully intend to cook something, probably fairly soon, though I may need to trim my beard, polish my nails, and read the newspaper first, and there's a risk I'll end up forgetting about the cooking task.

Both forms have potential (dependent on context and tone) to be "weasel words", though "will" (especially if emphasized) conveys more determination while "going to" indicates a bit more urgency.


The difference is often in the procrastination https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procrastination that does not exist if one is on the way to do something.

  • Can you please give an example? – Mr Awesome8 Mar 5 '16 at 0:20
  • Which one is "on the way to do something"? The simple future or the present progressive? – deadrat Mar 5 '16 at 0:23
  • I say it is the present progressive? – Mr Awesome8 Mar 5 '16 at 0:24
  • Tomorrow I will go to into the forest whether it is not raining and if I don't have lost my umbrella thus I am not sure at all. – Baiwir Mar 5 '16 at 0:33

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