Who Will Win the World Cup: English Lesson

World Cup English: Who Do You Think Will Win the World Cup?

Who Will Win the World Cup: English Lesson

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?

Making Predictions

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

Going to be sick

She is going to be sick!

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.

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  • Cem

    I think Turkey is going to win the cup. Iy wa a joke.
    Because Turkey is not going to be in Brazil.
    I think,Brazil is the best team of the cup. They have an advantage because of playing on their home. But Germany and Spain are the other alternatives about winning the cup.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      “They have the advantage of playing at home.” – I think that most people are saying, Germany, Spain, Argentina, or Brazil. But maybe it’s the year of the underdog?

  • pablo

    This will be one of the most tightly contested World Cups ever. Spain’s era of tiki-taka could be at an end and with home advantage, I think Brazil will do it. With respect to mexican team i don’t have high expectations of sucess. But I will be glad if brazil do it

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      I read a lot about Tika Taka dying this year, but I recently read, “It only died in Germany.” Mexico seem to have had a lot of problems this past year, but I hear that they are taking A LOT of fans to Brazil.

  • maia

    i think Brazil is going to win the World Cup.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Solid prediction!

  • Marc Wimlot

    I think Brazil will win but I hope Belgium will reach the semi final

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Belgium have a great team this year. A lot of people have them as the dark horses.

  • Mirjana

    I think that Brazil has great leverage due to the fact that they play at home. but Germany has a great team too.
    My team never passed the qualifications /or so I think /

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      No, Serbia didn’t make it to the World Cup.

  • Mirjana

    Answering your question your friend said “You should never rule out Spain”.
    is it correct to say not omit or disregard ?

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      It’s better to say it as I did. Disregard can work, but it sounds better using the phrasal verb, “rule out.” Here’s another example:

      – I think you can rule out England winning on penalties (they have no chance of winning on penalties).

      • Mirjana

        Thanks for the clarification it does sound better
        I just never came across that phrasal verb “rule out” so it was kind of funny or strange for me
        But thanks any way

  • Nassim Jbali

    In the World Cup, I’m going to support Spain. But, I don’t think that Spain will win the World Cup this year because Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and to win the World Cup twice and successively, I guess it’s a little bit hard for Spain to do it again. And I’m sure that Spain is not going to be an easy team. I think Germany will win it, yeah it’s considered as the most strongest teams in this World Cup, so it has a big chance to win it.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      It would be incredible if Spain won again. To win four major tournaments (two World Cups, two European Championships) would make them the best international side of all time.

      “So, they have a big chance to win it.” – Just a change of pronoun in that last sentence.

  • Nodo

    I have been supporting Brasil since my childhood. I am very happy world cup 2014 is in Brasil this year. So that they definitely are going to win

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      “I am very happy THE World Cup…” – You seem very confident!

  • Alejandro Medina

    I’m from Mexico so I support my team Mexico !

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Do you think Mexico will it? Or do you think it is impossible for them?

  • Oleg

    In final we will see the beautiful game Spain & Argentina, and Argentina will win. Also Germany and Brazil will fight for the third place.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      I think Spain would most likely meet Argentina in the semi-finals, but that would be amazing.

      “In THE final we will see a beautiful game between…” “Fight for third place.”

  • Angie

    Although this is a tough way, I always support and I think they will win again!

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Who will you support?

      • Angie

        Sorry! Some words lost… I support Spain!

  • Ildar

    1. Almost all will say that Brazil will have won, because they play at home. And the statistic of teams shows that Brazil is the most titled team in the world championship. But, to my mind someone from Europe will win the World Cup 2014 and it will definitely be Spain. ¡VAMOS ESPAÑA, VAMOS!
    2. But we should never rule out Russia! Something magical might happen… 😉

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      “Almost everyone is saying that Brazil will win.”

      Some people are saying that this is the year of the underdog.. so never rule out Russia!

  • james

    I think Belgium will win the world cup but we cannot rule out Brazil as they have creative and fearless young men playing at home.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Belgium are the dark horses this year.

  • Ata

    Firstly thanks a lot Jack for your good explanation that how we can use (going to, will and can).
    I think this year strong teams are Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Spain, and there might be will play in semifinal. In addition the dark horse Belgium for me too.
    In conclusion Brazil can win this World Cup because this year there are using mix strategy of football Latino and Europe strategy.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Thanks for the nice comment Ata. Here is a correction to what you said, “I think Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and Spain are going to be strong this year, and those four teams might play each other in the semi-finals.”


  • Washington

    I was almost sure that Brazil will win, but I’ve just watched the brazilian coach on TV saying that they are confident and full of bravery. So now i think that Brazil are going to win this World Cup!

    If Spain get luck they probably can go back home on semi-finals and i should never rule out Germany because of their younger players that have improved a lot.

    By the way i forgot to say that my team is Brazil.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Great comment Washington. Although I can’t watch it today, the Germany vs Portugal game should be really interesting to watch.

  • fatemeh vafaei

    Hello Jack. I’m not interested in football but I heard Germany and Brazil are good team and they ‘re going to win cup. I think because Brazil is host of this world cup, they have a better chance.But I don’t know why I’m spectator of Italy. Any way I hope this World cup will be a good luck for peace for people all over the world.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Thanks Fatemeh. The World Cup should be a celebration with different countries coming together and enjoying the whole spectacle. I also hope this happens.

  • Oliga

    Hello, Jack.
    Like the previous commenter, I’m not interested in football either. To answer your questions, I had to ask my father–who is a big football fan–for his opinion. And his answer was that most expect and suppose that Brasil will win the World Cup, but it’s unlikely that they will. He thinks that the strongest teams are Spain and Germany.
    As to me, I’ll support Russia. I wish they were the winners. They’ve already won the hockey championship. Who knows maybe they’re going to win the World Cup as well.
    By the way, I’m glad you liked my new term “footsoc”. 😉

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Thanks for the comment Oliga. Have a look at my latest post (on wish and hope); to correct what you said, “I hope they win.”

  • Just A Bloke

    Dunno who’ll win the Cup, but so far football has been the winner with some good games.
    Brazil v Holland would be a pukka final, not sure if that can happen tho, depends if they meet in the knockout rounds on the way there.
    You cheeky dog, saying England won’t go beyond the group stage. It’s unlikely they’ll win the Cup tho, & quite likely they’ll go out in the quarter finals, on penalties.

    • http://www.jdaenglish.com/ Jack Askew

      Going out in the quarter finals on penalties is what England do best!

  • Monika Fretz

    I hope you will agree with me, what in this World Cup you are suprised from some soccer matches. Some match members was very strong like the Germans and the Netherlands and some was unsuccessful like the Spains.
    This is going to be difficult for Brazilians, who want to win the World Cup in their own country.
    I think German will win.
    The Germans will have a good time in Bazil and if they don´t will win,they will play good soccer matches and the Netherlands or the Brazilians will win.

  • shah

    I think the two strongest teams are going to be Brazil and Netherlands. I think Netherlands are going to win the World Cup