be going to vs will

A: John is a better player than Martin, isn't he?

B: Oh, yes. _______ the match tomorrow, I expect.

 

1) He will win

2) He is going to win

 

Which one is preferable here? (Me: #1 is better than #2.)

Source: Destination, B1

Original Post

Hi, Freeguy,

Freeguy posted:

A: John is a better player than Martin, isn't he?

B: Oh, yes. _______ the match tomorrow, I expect.

 

1) He will win

2) He is going to win

 

Which one is preferable here? (Me: #1 is better than #2.)

Source: Destination, B1

I agree with you. Using 'expect' indicates that it is just a mere prediction.

Freeguy posted:

Here is another one:

 

A: What do you want to be when you grow up, Stevie?

B: _____ a scientist. That's what I want to do, anyway.

 

1) I will be

2) I am going to be

Source: Destination, B1 level

(Me: #2 is better than #1 here.)

Here, I also agree with you. Using 'That's what I want to do, anyway' indicates that it is a strong intention.

Freeguy posted:

A: John is a better player than Martin, isn't he?
B: Oh, yes. _______ the match tomorrow, I expect.

1) He will win
2) He is going to win

Which one is preferable here? (Me: #1 is better than #2.)

Hello, Freeguy,

The "I expect" certainly makes "will" justifiable. (Without "I expect," "He will win the match tomorrow" would sound like a prophesy .) I don't have a preference for either one.

If "I expect" appeared at the front of the sentence ("I expect he will win the match tomorrow"), I would join you in preferring "will." But it doesn't appear there; it appears at the end.

Freeguy posted:

A: What do you want to be when you grow up, Stevie?
B: _____ a scientist. That's what I want to do, anyway.

1) I will be
2) I am going to be

(Me: #2 is better than #1 here.)

I agree with you here: "I am going to be a scientist" works better than "I will be a scientist." Using "be going to" communicates intention, and that is appropriate in this context.

If "I expect" appeared at the front of the sentence ("I expect he will win the match tomorrow"), I would join you in preferring "will."

 

What a good point. Would you please elaborate on the subtle difference between the placement if "I expect"? This is the first time I have heard or seen the placement of phrases like "I think, I expect, I believe, etc" makes difference.

 

Thanks.

Hi, Freeguy,

In his book "First Certificate Language Practice," Michael Vince says:

Will is used to make predictions. It is often preceded by I think or by opinion words like perhaps. A time expression is also necessary.
I think it'll rain tomorrow.

My impression is that, if placed at the end of the sentence, "I expect" sounds like an afterthought and is introduced to soften the prediction. If "going to" is used, the meaning is similar. The only difference is that, when placed at the beginning, "I expect/think/believe" will tend to be followed by "will" at all times.

Y. John will win the match tomorrow, I expect.

Z. John is going to win the match tomorrow, I expect. (...actually, I expect he will.)

See what Vince says in connection with "going to":

Going to is also used for predictions. It is especially common when we can see the cause of the event.
Look out! There's a bus coming! It's going to hit us!
I can see you're going to have a baby. When is it due?
You're going to fall!

Going to is also common in impersonal statements.
Liverpool are going to win the Cup. But will can also be used for most examples like this, with no change of meaning. (The bolds are mine.)

See the similarity between the example above and the one from your book in which, as David told you, both "will" and "is going to" can be used unless "I expect" appears at the beginning, in which case "I will" is preferred.

Freeguy posted:

What a good point. Would you please elaborate on the subtle difference between the placement if "I expect"? This is the first time I have heard or seen the placement of phrases like "I think, I expect, I believe, etc" makes difference.

Gustavo has elaborated on the point beautifully. Thank you, Gustavo! I really like the quotations you gave from the book by Michael Vince, too.

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