So, I’m going to tell you a story, a story that will hopefully clear up the difference between will, going to and present continuous:
My ex-girlfriend came home one night with a beautiful new painting that she’d bought at the market.
“David,” she said. “I’d like you to hang this painting please.”
“Of course,” I answered. “No problem.”
A week later she came home from work and found her picture lying on the ground where she had left it seven days before.
“Ahem,” she cleared here throat. “Em, David!”
I knew I was in trouble now.
“You still haven’t hung my painting.”
At this point I had three choices. I could say any of the following:
- Don’t worry, I will hang it tomorrow.
- Don’t worry, I’m going to hang it tomorrow.
- Don’t worry, I’m hanging it tomorrow.
But what’s the difference? In each sentence, the result is the same. The painting will be on the wall tomorrow. But each sentence gave slightly different information to my girlfriend.
- I have just decided now that I will hang it tomorrow. I didn’t think about you or this painting before now.
- I thought about this before now and I planned to hang it tomorrow.
- Not only did I think about this before now, I have also organised everything. I have selected the perfect place on the wall, I have bought a hammer and a nail and I am ready to hang it tomorrow.
Which one do you think I said to her?
Number 3 obviously.
It might not have been true but it was the message I wanted to tell my girlfriend.
And here’s the lovely picture.
If you’re interested in learning some more about English Grammar, check out our lessons website.
If you would like more information on our English centre for adults in London, click here.