When I was listening to a podcast there was a sentence:

Download the podcast if you are going to improve your English.

I assume it means the same thing as

Download the podcast if you want to improve your English.

Is there any difference and which structure one is better ?

  • Both mean the same, but second phrase sounds better. – SyntaxGoonoo Jul 28 '16 at 10:59

"if you want to improve your English" is better, as it implies that the purpose of the podcast is to help you improve your English.

To say "if you're going to" implies that the podcast might be useful in some way, but not in actually doing that thing, ie improving your English. Instead it implies that the purpose is to help with something that goes along with, or follows on from, learning English.

Think of "Download this podcast if you are going to France". It's not saying it will help you to go to France, it's implying that it will be useful once you get there - perhaps it will tell you some places to visit, for example. On the other hand, if you saw a podcast saying "Download this podcast if you want to go to France", then that implies it's going to help you to go to France.


'If you are going to' doesn't sound correct, mainly because of the mixture of present and future tense.

Download the podcast - present tense


if you are going to - future tense

But from a sales point of view I think it's not a bad choice. 'if you are going to' implies a sense of definateness.

i.e. if you download this, you will improve your english.

If you 'want' to improve your english, doesn't carry the same authority. I want to travel the world, but I may never get to!


There's very little difference between those, but I prefer:

Download the podcast to help improve your English.

Or even:

Download the podcast to improve your English.

...if you are feeling bold.

  • 1
    Yes these phrases are much better versions – SyntaxGoonoo Jul 28 '16 at 11:00

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