will or going-to future

dana2207

New Member
German
Hi everyone,

I was wondering which of these two sentences sounds more natural to a native speaker.


  1. These issues will be discussed at next year's conference.
  2. These issues are going to be discussed at next year's conference.

I know that the going-to tense is used when referring to future plans made before the moment of speaking. So, in this case the second sentence would be fine. However, I feel that I'm more likely to come across the first sentence when reading a newspaper, etc.
 
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  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Sentence (2) isn't wrong or unnatural, but I must admit if I were reading this as part of a newspaper report I'd regard version (1) as being very slightly more formal in style.
     

    Bob8964

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Sentence (2) isn't wrong or unnatural, but I must admit if I were reading this as part of a newspaper report I'd regard version (1) as being very slightly more formal in style.
    Hello, Donny, there are two similar passive sample sentences in my grammar book:

    1. A number of political prisoners will be released within the next few days.

    2. The theatre will be built next to the town hall.

    I wonder whether this kind of structure(will be done) is mainly used in news reports and whether it means future arrangements here. If yes, can we use "going to" or the present continuous to express the same meaning in an informal style?

    1'. A number of political prisoners is being released/is going to be released...
    2'. The theatre is being built/is going to be built...
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Sentence (2) isn't wrong or unnatural, but I must admit if I were reading this as part of a newspaper report I'd regard version (1) as being very slightly more formal in style.
    I agree with DonnyB on "will" being very slightly more formal in style, but there may be a difference between British and American registers here. But maybe I'm agreeing with everyone here. Basically I wouldn't expect "going to" in any of the newspapers I read. I would expect "will" to be used for the future here. If it were a public speaker confiding his future plans, I might expect "going to" to be used. But not in a newspaper, in third person, referring to future speakers at a conference.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I would go for (1) too. "Going to" is more colloquial, and it's use in the passive here is a little odd. Also, "going to" is more often used for talking about something that will happen soon. Taken together, these three points would make me avoid (2).

    "We're going to discuss these issues at the next meeting" would be fine but rather informal.
     

    Bob8964

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    ....If it were a public speaker confiding his future plans, I might expect "going to" to be used. But not in a newspaper, in third person, referring to future speakers at a conference.
    Hello, coiffe, for "a public speaker confiding his future plans, I might expect "going to" to be used", I wonder if it means when someone is casually talking bout his personal plans in daily life.

    [Off-topic question deleted. DonnyB - moderator]
     
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