Cainntear wrote:SCMT wrote:Look at the sky! It will rain! This may not be common usage, but it is not wrong. "It's going to rain," is more natural speech.
It is wrong. We have a problem in English that we insist on calling [i]will "the future tense", when it's something far more specific than that. "Will" denotes a decision, a promise, a consequence or a prediction. The doorbell rings -- "I'll get it" => decision. "I'll always be here for you" => promise. "If you build it, he will come" => consequence.
Every one of these involves some sense of volition, which is perfectly logical if you think about it -- I mean, the word is will after all.
The prediction doesn't always imply volition though, and while "It will rain tomorrow" is possible (albeit slightly "stiff" sounding), it really, really needs something to say when.
But despite the fact that "will" is not, and has never been, the "future tense" in English, it has been taught that way for a long time. I have witnessed teachers deliberately teaching it as "the future tense", training people to use it in situations where it's not appropriate.
Heck, even Cambridge examiners use it wrong, describing the procedures of a test with "will".
Which leaves me kind of pulled both ways about international English.
If the emerging "learner English"/"English as lingua franca" is a result of natural processes, that's fine. But some parts of it are just a result of poor teaching, and "natural process" becomes a nonsense if it's used to paper over bad teaching.
I'm not sure I understand the distinction. Could you provide more examples of where "will" can't be used as a future tense marker? "Look at the sky! It will rain!" does sound unnatural to me but I can't think of any other examples.
Maybe this is a difference between US and UK English. In speech I would use the contracted form "it'll rain tomorrow" interchangeably with "it's gonna rain tomorrow".