Hypothesis X

cheshire

Senior Member
Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
I know well that "will" and "be going to" have each different meanings. But I have a question:

Hypothesis X: The more the grammatical structure becomes complex, the less the distinction between them.

1) You'll have to...
2) You are going to have to...

The structures of these sentences are more complex than the ordinary "you'll" or "you are going to." Since 2) is too complicated to casually express the idea, it is avoided and you prefer 1), thus making 1) having exactly the same meaning as 2). This is my hypothesis X.

Do you think it's wrong?
 
  • MissFit

    Senior Member
    I'll divide this up to make my response more clear. I hope I don't seem overly contrary.

    I know well that "will" and "be going to" have each different meanings.
    They don't really have different meanings. They are two ways to express the future tense. Any difference in meaning depends on context, so they are often interchangable.

    Hypothesis X: The more the grammatical structure becomes complex, the less the distinction between them.
    I haven't examined a lot of examples, but offhand I would say the opposite is true. Complexity of grammatical structure is likely to add complexity to the meaning, so the distiction is likely to increase.

    1) You'll have to...
    2) You are going to have to...

    The structures of these sentences are more complex than the ordinary "you'll" or "you are going to."
    They aren't much more complex. They just use an idiomatic verb, have to, in place of an ordinary verb.

    Since 2) is too complicated to casually express the idea, it is avoided and you prefer 1)
    I don't find it complicated at all; in fact, I prefer #2 for ordinary conversation and I use that form frequently. Here are some examples:
    You're going to have to speak up, I can't hear you.
    You are going to have to go to college if you want a good job.
    I am going to have to visit my grandparents soon.

    thus making 1) having exactly the same meaning as 2).
    The difference in meaning between will and are going to was very slight before adding the idiomatic verb.

    This is my hypothesis X.
    Do you think it's wrong?
    I'm afraid I do disagree. It may be true of some examples, but I don't think it would hold true as a rule--especially when you consider that the difference in the two future constructs is subject to the interpretation of the reader/hearer. Maybe someone else will agree?
     
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