According to grammar rules, "will" can be used to mean: a1) promise or decision; a2) prediction based on opinion, while "going to" mean: b1) plan; b2) prediction based on evidence.

But in that example sentence, why is "will" used and what does it mean exactly? It seems that "not being able to meet the guest" is planned or can be inferred from evidence.

Thanks in advance!

  • It's just the future marker. – curiousdannii Nov 3 '16 at 3:33

Barring exterior cues to the contrary, this is the epistemic modality not the deontic one. Therefore it is simple likelihood not willful prohibition.

I wouldn’t read too much into the old chestnut about:

  1. I shall drown, no one will save me! (drowning victim, so epistemic)
  2. I will drown, no one shall save me! (suicide note, so deontic)

Because almost no one today talks that way with those contrasting senses — if ever they did so at all.

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