It's raining. They won't play football today.

angelene001

Senior Member
Polish
What tense can we use when we talk about logical consequences of something happening now?


It's raining. They ..........(play) football today.

Is the future simple the only correct answer?
It's raining. They won't play football today.

Is it a prediction based on the speakers opinion?
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It's a prediction based on either the speaker's opinion (may be less than 100% certainty) or their knowledge of the practices of the stadium or teams that never play in that situation (100% certainty).
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    What tense can we use when we talk about logical consequences of something happening now?
    If you use the future tense, it is not happening now...

    It's raining. They won't play football today.
    It's raining. They won't be playing football today.
    It's raining. They won't have been playing football today.
    It's raining. They won't have played football today.
    It's raining. They didn't play football today.
    It's raining. They aren't playing football today.

    etc.


    As you see, the answer depends on what the question was and the relationship between the time of saying the statement and the time that the football match was played.

    Is it a prediction based on the speakers opinion?
    There are very few predictions that are not based upon an opinion. :)

    e.g. They won't play football today can mean anything from
    "I don't suppose that they would play football - but I know nothing about football or the team."

    to
    "In 1,000 years of history of playing football, the team has never, ever played football when it is raining, and it is positively certain that they will not play today because it is raining."
     

    angelene001

    Senior Member
    Polish
    So it's:
    It's raining. [I think] They won't play football today. -> the speaker's opinion
    It's raining. [I'm sure] They won't play football today [because they never play when it rains] -> knowledge of the practices of the team
     

    angelene001

    Senior Member
    Polish
    There are very few predictions that are not based upon an opinion. :)
    Of course :)
    But there is that difference between predictions based on personal opinions (the future simple) and predictions based on evidence which we can see (be going to):
    I think the white horse will win the race.
    Look! The white horse is leading. It is going to win the race.
     
    It really doesn't matter whether the speaker says "The horse will win the race" (a strong declaration) or "is going to win the race".

    Both are unverifiable predictions, and all predictions are opinions, no matter how forcefully stated.

    Any statement about the outcome of an event that has not yet been finalized in real present- time is still only an opinion, not a fact that can be backed up by "evidence."

    I think, sure, if a speaker can see one horse pulling ahead, they feel more confident in what they say based on the experience of the way the world works.

    But if your question is, do we use one form of these two, will/is going to in preference to the other based on the strength of "the evidence of our own/the speaker's own eyes", the answer is no.:)

    Seeing one horse pulling ahead:

    "Look! The white horse is leading. It's going to win the race.:thumbsup:"

    "Look! The white horse is leading. It'll win the race.":thumbsup:
     
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