There are four different verb structures used to talk about the future in English, and each has a slightly different meaning. Make sure you choose wisely! Future with “will” is used for offers, promises, predictions, and quick decisions. Future with “be going to” is used for plans. Future with present progressive is used for plans that are certain. Future with simple present is used for routine, scheduled future events, and the other three can be used for these events as well.
One thing to pay attention to is the difference between describing plans with “be going to” and with present progressive. In the latter case, this refers to plans that are almost 100% certain. Another issue is the difference between predictions and plans. Plans are about oneself and predictions are outside oneself, so “will” is not used for future plans. It is used for many purposes, but this is not one of them.
|I will go to the park next Tuesday.|
I am going to go to the park next Tuesday.
– or –
I am going to the park next Tuesday.
|offers and promises||scheduled future events|
|be going to||Y||Y||Y|
(only ‘be going to’ with something you see right now)
(and also the other 3 forms)