Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Do you get confused about whether to use ‘will’ or ‘going to’ when talking or writing about your plans?

We’ll break grammar this down to make it clear on today’s episode.

Lindsay and Aubrey share tips on when to use ‘will’ and ‘going to’ in formal and informal settings.

They also share subtle differences between each of these when it comes to making plans.

What’s the difference between ‘will’ and ‘going to’?

Lindsay asks Aubrey what she’s going to do after recording this episode.

Aubrey says she’s going to eat.

She then asks if the question would sound weird if it were, “What will you do after we record?”

Lindsay says it does sound strange, even though grammatically it’s not incorrect.

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Aubrey dive deeper into this grammar structure.

This was inspired by a listener’s question.

Today’s question

Hi Lindsay, I’d like to know the difference between “I’ll eat” and “I’m gonna eat.”

Thanks for teaching me the language through all your podcasts. Take care.

Luca from Italy

There’s a lot to think about when diving into the differences between ‘will’ and ‘going to.’

Today’s episode is part one of a three-part series across all of the All Ears English Podcasts.

Lindsay and Aubrey will be focusing on the use of ‘will’ and ‘going to’ in the business setting in this first installment to the series.

“Will” versus “going to”

Lindsay and Aubrey provide guidelines on which phrase to choose.

You are guaranteed to use ‘will’ and ‘going to’ in your English conversations.

There are questions you must ask yourself to know which is appropriate.

Question #1: Casual or formal?

For formal speech or writing, you should use ‘will.’

You can use ‘going to’ in a more informal setting.


  • We will begin the meeting at 10 a.m.
  • The client will meet us at the office next week.
  • We’re going to happy hour later.
  • Where are you going this weekend?

Question #2: Planned or unplanned?

The term ‘going to’ means you have planned to do something and you’re about to do it.

You can also hear a variation of this wherein native English speakers say ‘gonna.’


  • What do you think he’s going to say in the meeting?
  • Do you know when she’s going to submit the paperwork?

On the other hand, ‘will’, is used to refer to unplanned events or tasks.

There is also a variation of this where native English speakers use a contraction, adding ‘ll to the subject.


  • I’ll ask the CFO what she thinks.
  • He’ll agree with this plan.


The following roleplay uses today’s guidelines to use ‘will’ and ‘going to’ in a regular conversation.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are coworkers chatting before a meeting.

Aubrey: Do you know if we’re going to attend the conference next month? (planned)
Lindsay: I’m not sure. I’ll ask after the meeting. (unplanned)
Aubrey: Ok, thanks, I’d appreciate it.
Lindsay: A few of us are going to happy hour after work. Wanna come? (planned)
Aubrey: Sure, I’ll come. Thanks for the invite! (unplanned)

The difference may seem subtle.

It’s all about whether an activity is planned or unplanned.

Getting this correct will help you sound more natural in English.


Today’s tips will help you use ‘will’ and ‘going to’ properly.

Remember to always use “will” for formal writing.

Lessons like this will help you sound more like native English speakers.

Make sure to keep practicing and keep striving to make connections.

Don’t let this get in the way of building connections.

Make room for mistakes and don’t lose focus on your reason for learning English.

How do you use ‘will’ and ‘going to’ in your daily conversations at work?

Share an example in the comments below.

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