3 different grammar ways to talk about the future

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Hector9

Senior Member
-I will play football tonight

-I'm going to play football tonight

-I'm playing football tonight

What's the difference between them?

I know that they're correct but I can't find what's their real difference in terms of usage.

Thank you :)
 
  • I will play football tonight : in this context is the worst way to use, forget it

    I'm going to play football tonight : you have the intention but you haven't planned yet so I would not use it in this case because if you say so, It's quite clear that the event has been already planned

    I'm playing football tonight : the best way to use in this context, it means that you have planned and you'll do it for sure, unless some unexpected events happen

    Hope it'll be helpful for you ;)
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    -

    -I'm going to play football tonight

    -I'm playing football tonight

    What's the difference between them?

    I know that they're correct but I can't find what's their real difference in terms of usage.

    Thank you :)
    I will play football tonight - no problem, this is general future. Depending on context, it could be interpreted as a promise, as a forceful prediction or just a general statement...

    I'm going to play football tonight - intention

    I'm playing football tonight - already arranged

    I play football tonight - you are either a footballer or a regular football player. Tonight's play is a scheduled event.

    I will be playing football tonight - you can say this when your girlfriend asks you to take her out to a fancy restaurant and you want to dodge that. :D Means you'll probably be doing it the whole night too.

    I am to play football tonight - you are supposed/scheduled/expected/obligated to do that.

    Probably there are more ways to say that but everything depends on the context.
     
    I will play football tonight - no problem, this is general future. Depending on context, it could be interpreted as a promise, as a forceful prediction or just a general statement...

    I am to play football tonight - you are supposed/scheduled/expected/obligated to do that.

    Probably there are more ways to say that but everything depends on the context.
    Everything's correct, I just didn't know about "I am to play...." before now

    Bye :)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    - I will play football tonight.
    - I'm going to play football tonight.
    - I'm playing football tonight.

    What's the difference between them?

    I know that they're correct but I can't find what's their real difference in terms of usage.
    My view: There is no difference; they all mean the same. And I would certainly use these three phrases interchangeably.
     
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    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    They are certainly not interchangeable.

    -I will play football tonight/I play football tonight -

    This is only really used if you are reading off an itinerary or have a plan which needs to be expressed in a complex way. For example:

    'I'll play football tonight if I can'

    'According to this piece of paper, I play football until 20.00 then have dinner'.


    I'm going to play football -

    This is used if you have made the choice, eg

    'What are you going to do tonight?' 'I'm going to play football.'


    -I'm playing football tonight

    This is used to explain the plans you have made.
     
    -I will play football tonight

    -I'm going to play football tonight

    -I'm playing football tonight

    What's the difference between them?
    The difference is that the first one is not a stand-alone sentence; the other two are.

    A boy comes home from school and says to his mum 'I'm going to play football tonight' or 'I'm playing football tonight'.

    He would not say 'I will play football tonight'.

    Rover
     

    MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    copperknickers:I'm going to play football -

    This is used if you have made the choice, eg

    'What are you going to do tonight?' 'I'm going to play football.'


    -I'm playing football tonight

    This is used to explain the plans you have made.


    So...so...grammatically, what's the difference between a 'choice' and a 'plan' that I have to choose different verb forms???
    Is it in terms of the meaning of the words, or that the grammatical nature of the verb form defines the meaning of these words???
    :)
     
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    So...so...grammatically, what's the difference between a 'choice' and a 'plan' that I have to choose different verb forms???
    Is it in terms of the meaning of the words, or that the grammatical nature of the verb form defines the meaning of these words???
    :)
    It's a good question.... in my opinion they've both the same meaning, if you're doing something for sure and at a time already planned.... otherwise it's just a choice because everything has to be planned yet

    How do you feel about ? :)
     

    Merrit

    Senior Member
    English
    In the world of EFL and ESL teaching, these distinctions are crucially important, and much effort is devoted to ensuring that students have a sound grasp of the concepts.

    Outside that world, native English speakers seem to be totally unaware of the "rules" and just chose by gut-feel what structure to use to express a particular nuance. I guess that's the advantage of being a native speaker -- your gut tells you what works and what doesn't in any given situation.


    In EFL/ESL :

    1. will -- simple facts in the future -- The sun will rise at 7:23 am tomorrow.

    2. going to -- intention to do something -- I'm going to watch DVDs tonight -- (I'm going to stop at the video shop on my way home, and hopefully I'll find something nice to rent, but if everything nice is already out, I'll probably just watch sport instead.)

    3. present continuous -- definite planned action -- I'm travelling to Australia next month. (I've booked and paid the trip, I have the tickets in my pocket, everything is organised.)

    4. I'll -- impulsive + immediate future -- A: "Ooh, it's cold in here!" B: "I'll close the window."


    It's interesting to me that both Parla (AmE) and MilkyBarKid (BrE) see no distinction between 2 and 3. I used to think exactly the same before I got involved in EFL, and I still have nagging suspicions that this is an artificial distinction.

    m


    EDIT : Yes, I know "I'm travelling to Australia next month." sounds a bit clunky, but the more natural "I'm going to Australia next month." makes it look like a 2.
     
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    listenhere

    New Member
    English
    In the world of EFL and ESL teaching, these distinctions are crucially important, and much effort is devoted to ensuring that students have a sound grasp of the concepts.

    Outside that world, native English speakers seem to be totally unaware of the "rules" and just chose by gut-feel what structure to use to express a particular nuance. I guess that's the advantage of being a native speaker -- your gut tells you what works and what doesn't in any given situation.


    In EFL/ESL :

    1. will -- simple facts in the future -- The sun will rise at 7:23 am tomorrow.

    2. going to -- intention to do something -- I'm going to watch DVDs tonight -- (I'm going to stop at the video shop on my way home, and hopefully I'll find something nice to rent, but if everything nice is already out, I'll probably just watch sport instead.)

    3. present continuous -- definite planned action -- I'm travelling to Australia next month. (I've booked and paid the trip, I have the tickets in my pocket, everything is organised.)

    4. I'll -- impulsive + immediate future -- A: "Ooh, it's cold in here!" B: "I'll close the window."


    It's interesting to me that both Parla (AmE) and MilkyBarKid (BrE) see no distinction between 2 and 3. I used to think exactly the same before I got involved in EFL, and I still have nagging suspicions that this is an artificial distinction.

    m


    EDIT : Yes, I know "I'm travelling to Australia next month." sounds a bit clunky, but the more natural "I'm going to Australia next month." makes it look like a 2.
    Not to forget I will be travelling to Australia next month.
    A rough guide I find is that apart from the kid coming home and telling his mom that he is playing football, most statements are an answer to a question

    What are you doing tonight
    I am playing football

    what will you do tonight
    I will play football

    What will you be doing tonight
    I will be playing football

    What are you going to do tonight
    I am going to play football

    The answer follows the pattern of the question in responding
     
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