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I just know that "I'll go to bed" sounds unnatural but can't tell why. Though, I believe I can use this sentence if I have things to do very early in the morning and think that it would be o good idea to go to bed now to get enough sleep.

But outside any context, does it sound odd to form such a sentence if I've decided to go to bed right at the time of speaking?

I really find it hard to explain the difference between "will" and "going to" at times.

  • "I'll go to bed" sounds like 'I will go....; none can stop me'. I am going to bed sounds better comparably. – Ram Pillai Nov 2 '19 at 7:28
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    This native BrE speaker of some six decades sees nothing wrong at all with the utterance I'll go to bed spoken at the moment of executing that decision. It doesn't sound unnatural in the least. – High Performance Mark Nov 2 '19 at 8:22
  • @HighPerformanceMark: agreed. But "I'm going to bed" is by far the most natural form, to me. – Colin Fine Nov 2 '19 at 11:12
  • This native BrE speaker of some six decades sees nothing ungrammatical in the utterance "I'll go to bed", but even when spoken at the moment of executing that decision it does sound most-unusual-to-unnatural. Probably because it's rather abrupt sans (softening verbal) context. It would be totally acceptable after discussing with the missus whether we both wanted to tax our grey cells further by watching the episode of 'The Prisoner' (or whatever, if anything, is the modern equivalent). But "Would you mind if I went to bed?" / "I think I'll go to bed" sound far less abrupt. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 2 '19 at 11:40
  • I never say gonna (let alone I'm gonna), and I cringe whenever I hear it. On the other hand, I say both I'm going and I'll go, so those both sound far more natural to me. – Jason Bassford Nov 3 '19 at 14:44
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Statements need to be analysed in a context. A likely context here is one in which you are sitting with your spouse watching TV and you announce "I'm going to bed. In other words that is what you are going to do right now. It is not a statement about the future, which is a typical context in which will is used.

You can also say I'm gonna go to bed, but this too is about what you are going to do now - unless you include a future time expression: I'm gonna go to bed after the film.

It is more difficult to conceive of a context in which you would say simply I'll go to bed. But it sounds more likely if you add some words to make it clearly about the future and not about now:

  • I'll go to bed at the end of the film.
  • I'll go to bed if you don't stop interrupting the film.

Here is a page that compares the use of will and going to:

https://www.grammar.cl/Notes/Future_Will_vs_Going.htm

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