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1. Tomorrow is Thursday.

2. Tomorrow will be Thursday.

3. Tomorrow is going to be Thursday.

4. I am 38 years old next month.

5. I will be 38 years old next month.

6 I am going to be 38 years old next month.

Which of the above sentences are not acceptable? If possible, state the reason.

Thank you very much for your help.
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Comments  
They are all fine, Teo.

1 and 4-- reflect immediacy
2 and 5-- neutral future
3 and 6-- reflect assuredness
Mister MicawberThey are all fine, Teo.

1 and 4-- reflect immediacy
2 and 5-- neutral future
3 and 6-- reflect assuredness

According to the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, be going has the implicature of immediacy.

According to Grammar in Use (by Raymond Murphy), the simple present with a future meaning is used to talk about timetables, schedules, etc.

So, perhaps 1 and 4 reflect assuredness, while 3 and 6 reflect immediacy.
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If it's purely a matter of idiomaticity, I'd use
"Tomorrow is Thursday" and "I'll be 38 next month".
In the special case of "tomorrow", the word itself carries the idea of the future, so I think it is an exceptional case not within the usual guidelines of usage. It's merely saying that the name of the day following today is Thursday, not that the name of that day will be Thursday.
In the case of becoming a certain age, no scheduling or planning is involved, so neither "is" nor "going to be" is appropriate in the most neutral statement of that fact. "will" is best because of the inevitability of growing old, I suppose!

CJ
Teo, the 'correctness' of the CGEL has been questioned before, and this is obviously a case where it has misinterpreted (at least AmE) usage. There is nothing immediate about NASA is going to land astronauts on Mars eventually. Be going to reflects the speaker's assurance that something will occur, based either on external evidence (It's going to rain all next month-- I heard it on the weather report) or on his/her own decision (I'm going to play with the New York Yankees when I grow up-- I have made that decision).

On the other hand, I agree with your Grammar in Use-- The present simple is indeed used for simple facts. I was thinking of the present continuous when I wrote, sorry.

So I will revise to:

1 and 4-- reflect simple facts
2 and 5-- neutral future
3 and 6-- reflect assuredness
For a future plan:
"will" means you are deciding now.
"be going to" means you decided before.

For a future prediction:
"will" means you cannot see/ hear/ feel... evidence.
"be going to" means you can.

For a future fact:
"will" is used.

We can also use other tenses for these situations.
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TeoFor a future plan:
"will" means you are deciding now.
"be going to" means you decided before.

For a future prediction:
"will" means you cannot see/ hear/ feel... evidence.
"be going to" means you can.

For a future fact:
"will" is used.

We can also use other tenses for these situations.

Hello Teo

I'm not sure it's quite so certain. For instance, if I say:

1. I'm going to buy you a present tomorrow.

– I may have decided to buy the present yesterday; but I may also have decided in the second or two before I spoke.

Similarly, if I say:

2. I'll buy you a present tomorrow.

– I may have decided to buy the present yesterday.

MrP

Will vs. be going to

Q:

What is the difference between will and going to as in “I’ll go to town” and “I’m going to go to town”?

Batya
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A:

A quick answer to your question about the use of will vs. the use of be going to is that will expresses an action the speaker is willing to perform and has the intention to perform; the speaker may have just decided to express his/her intention. On the other hand, going to expresses something that the speaker has already planned to do. It’s necessary to put your sentences in context to see the difference.

One situation in which will (but not going to) is appropriate is to make an offer:

Don’t carry that big bag of groceries, Mrs. Jones. I’ll take it for you.

If you want to sell your car, I’ll buy it for $10,000.

I’ll go to town—to the pharmacy—right now if you need that medicine immediately.
Another situation where will (but not going to) is appropriate is to make a promise:

I’ll finish this work by 7:00 tonight.

I’ll call you later.

I’ll go to town for the big celebration if my team wins the championship.
On the other hand, you can use going to (but not will) to express a prior plan:

We’re going to take our vacation in the winter this year, not the summer. We’ve already planned a trip to Antarctica.

Sorry I can’t be at work next week—I’m going to have minor surgery.

I’m going to go to town next Thursday—my class is having a reunion at the Central Hilton. I’ve bought a new outfit and I’m very excited about it.
The last three sentences are also frequently expressed with the present continuous—We’re taking, I’m having, and I’m going.

Some clarifying examples appear in a paper, “Future Shock” by Marilyn Martin (the paper appeared in On TESOL ’78: EFL Policies, Programs, Practices. Washington D.C.: TESOL, 1978).

Martin notes the difference between the following two conversational exchanges:

(a)

A: What about your mother’s birthday?
B: I’m going to get her a new mop.


(b)

A: What about your mother’s birthday?
B: I’ll get her a new mop.


As Martin explains in sentence (a), “speaker B is reporting a prior decision,” while in sentence (b), “he is making what seems to be a spur-of-the-moment decision as he speaks.”

She continues:

“In order to test this intuitive judgment, however, let us consider the conversation one could have with oneself, as in

What can I get my mother for her birthday? Oh, I know! I’ll get her a new mop.

X Oh, I know! I’m going to get her a new mop.
There emerges here the impression that the be going to future carries a sense of prior decision that is lacking in will.”

This is only one example of a difference between will and be going to. There are other meaningful factors to consider when choosing the ways to express future time (Martin clarifies them in the article mentioned above). For the question that Batya asked, however, it seems that the choice can be made based on whether the context expresses volition (one's choice, intention at the moment, will) as in "I’ll go to town" or the intention to do something because of a prior plan as in "I’m going to go to town."


http://www.longman.com/ae/azar/grammar_ex/message_board/archive/index.html
Hello Teo

I would disagree with some of the above. For instance:
Another situation where will (but not going to) is appropriate is to make a promise:

I’ll finish this work by 7:00 tonight.

I’ll call you later.

I’ll go to town for the big celebration if my team wins the championship.

"I'm going to" can also be used to "promise" something:

1. I have to ring off now; but I'm going to call you later, ok?
On the other hand, you can use going to (but not will) to express a prior plan:

We’re going to take our vacation in the winter this year, not the summer. We’ve already planned a trip to Antarctica.

Sorry I can’t be at work next week—I’m going to have minor surgery.

I’m going to go to town next Thursday—my class is having a reunion at the Central Hilton. I’ve bought a new outfit and I’m very excited about it.

We can also use "will" to express a plan:

2. Will you be taking your vacation in the winter again this year? — Yes, we will.

3. When will you use up the rest of your leave? — Over Christmas.


Martin notes the difference between the following two conversational exchanges:



(a)


A: What about your mother’s birthday?
B: I’m going to get her a new mop.


(b)


A: What about your mother’s birthday?
B: I’ll get her a new mop.


As Martin explains in sentence (a), “speaker B is reporting a prior decision,” while in sentence (b), “he is making what seems to be a spur-of-the-moment decision as he speaks.”

But:

A: What about your mother's birthday?

B: I'll probably get her a new mop.

(Here, B is reporting a prior decision.)

MrP

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