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Video Lesson – Using ‘Will’

by Oli Redman on 18 September, 2014 , No comments

Will is a complicated verb. Many English learners use will for the future, but will has many different meanings. Even when you use will to talk about the future, you can’t use it in every situation. In this lesson, you can learn what will really means, and how to use it correctly in English.

1. How to Use Will to Make Promises

You can use will to mean promise. You can also use promise and will together, but the meaning is clear even if you don’t say promise.

For example:

  • I’ll finish it by Friday.
  • I won’t do that again.
  • I promise I’ll do better next time.

2. How to Use Will to Make Spontaneous Decisions

If someone offers you a choice, you can use will to reply. For example, if I ask: Would you like tea or coffee? You can say: I’ll have tea, thanks. Note that this is a decision you haven’t thought about before—it’s a spontaneous decision; not something you’ve thought about or planned.

For example:

  • Hmm… I like them both, but I’ll take the green one.
  • Ice-cream? Ok, I’ll have chocolate, please.

3. How to Use Will to Express Willingness

For example:

  • He won’t help you, so don’t ask him.
  • She’ll do it if you ask her.

You can also use will for things, as in:

  • My computer won’t switch on

Note that the meaning of will can be present or future in this case.

4. How to Use Will to make Predictions

You can use will to say what you think is going to happen in the future. For example:

  • Who do you think will win the world cup?
  • It’ll be warm tomorrow.
  • He’ll be late—he always is.

5. A Common Mistake: Don’t Use Will to Talk about Future Plans

If you have already made a plan, and you want to talk about it, you can’t use will. You should use either going to or the present continuous: be + -ing.

For example:

  • She told me we’re meeting outside the cinema at 8.00. –> NOT we’ll meet…
  • I’m going on holiday next month—I just bought the tickets. –> NOT I’ll go…
  • What are you going to do at the weekend? –> NOT What will you do…

Match the use of will to the meaning

1.  She’ll be angry when she finds outa.  refusal to do something
2.  I’ll be there at 7.30b.  a prediction
3.  I’ll have a bowl of soup, pleasec.  willingness to do something
4.  He’ll help you if he cand.  a decision
5.  They won’t wait if you’re latee.  a promise

Right or wrong?

  1. I’ll go to the park on Saturday.
  2. It’s going to be cold tomorrow.
  3. We’ll see you there!
  4. We’ll move house next month.
  5. My car won’t start.
  1. b
  2. e
  3. d
  4. c
  5. a
  6. Wrong—if you’ve already thought about it, then you should say I’m going to the park on Saturday.
  7. Right—you can use going to or will to make a prediction, so this sentence is ok.
  8. Right—it’s a kind of promise.
  9. Wrong—it’s a plan, so We’re going to move… or We’re moving… are correct.
  10. Right—it expresses willingness/refusal.
Oli RedmanVideo Lesson – Using ‘Will’