Do you like making predictions about the future? Are you usually right? Well in this post, you will have the opportunity to tell us who you think will win the World Cup 2014.
In the last post, I explained how in American English the sport is called soccer while in British English it is called football. I asked for your preference and the voting has ended. Here are the results…
Readers of JDA English prefer to call it FOOTBALL! And that is what I’m going to call it from now on this site.
(I had one commenter who said that there should be a universal word for it: “Footsoc.” )
Who Will Win?
So, the BIG question that everyone is talking about is: Who will win the World Cup?
I have my own opinion (which will be revealed later!). But I asked my friend from the UK who he thinks will win. This is what he said:
“It’s not an easy prediction. But firstly, I don’t think England can win. Maybe if they get lucky, they can reach the semi-finals, but expectations are really low this year.
I think the two strongest teams are going to be Brazil and Germany. Brazil have the advantage of playing at home, and Germany’s young players have improved a lot.
But you should never rule out Spain. And to give you an answer, I think Brazil will win it.”
So, my friend thinks Brazil will win! Do you?
Okay, now it’s time to look at what my friend said. Did you notice that he used both will and going to with his predictions?:
- I think the two strongest teams are going to be Brazil and Germany.
- I think Brazil will win.
When making predictions, we can use both going to and will. Most of the time, there isn’t a big difference:
- I think Spain will beat Australia.
- I think Spain are going to beat Australia.
You can leave out the I think from your predictions (it’s a little stronger this way):
- Spain will beat Australia.
- Spain are going to beat Australia.
(You can make this even stronger by saying “Spain will definitely beat Australia” – and make sure to STRESS the word definitely.)
But, There Are Times When We Can ONLY Use Going to
There are situations when you can only use going to when making predictions. To help me explain this… imagine that before the game starts you say, “I think Spain will beat Australia.”
… Now imagine that you are sitting on your sofa and eating popcorn (everyone loves popcorn, right?). The game between Spain and Australia has just started.
You notice that Australia look strong, fast, and skillful and your opinion changes a little:
- This is going to be difficult for Spain.
- Spain are going to struggle here.
- Australia are going to score a goal soon.
- Spain are going to get tired later.
In all of these cases going to was used. This is because: When you are basing your opinion on something you see (you see that Australia are better than you thought), then you have to use going to. You CAN’T use will in this situation.
You also have to use going to when you base your opinion on something you taste, hear, feel etc.
- Look at those crazy black clouds! It’s going to rain soon.
- I feel terrible. I think I’m going to be sick….
Other Notes on Making Predictions (and Giving Opinions)
“You should never rule out Spain”
My friend doesn’t think that Spain are the favourites. But he is saying that they are strong and have the potential to win it.
“I don’t think England will win. Maybe if they get lucky, they can reach the semi-finals.”
My friend is using a conditional here to explain a possible outcome. He uses can to show ability (England have the potential do reach the semi-finals).
The conditional shows that they only have the potential to reach the semi-finals IF they are lucky. (He’s not very confident about England, is he?)
We can use will instead of can. This makes it stronger. Here are two examples to show this difference:
- If Diego Costa plays, Spain will win. (Here the prediction is stronger, but Spain winning depends on their best striker being able to play).
- If Diego Costa plays, Spain can win. (Spain have the possibility of winning if their best striker is able to play).
Do you see the difference between using can and will in the first conditional?
Over to You
So, now it’s time to make two predictions:
1. Who do you think will win the World Cup?
2. How do you think your team will do?
Here are my answers: I think that Argentina are going to win it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Spain do it again. As for England, I don’t think we’ll get out of the group stages!
Leave YOUR answers below.