As an American native speaker of English I find it difficult to guess americanisms as well!
I'm afraid I find the given translations frustratingly random! As a UK native speaker of English I have to guess americanisms, which I can do, but then find there is no consistency. 'We will go work' was given as a model answer previously in this unit, whereas ' the men will go work' is not accepted here!!
I believe it's the "work" verb which is causing confusion here, because it carries the idea of going somewhere to work within it.
Do you ever say "I will go eat"? Is it the same as "I will eat"?
If it is, then you are right, if not, keep reading.
Well, what I'm going to say is not a strict rule, it's very flexible indeed. But...
See that "vão" means go if it's in the present. (go from a place to another place)
But when it is making the phrasal future, it loses the "going" meaning, which is changed by "will".
So, this sentence can have these meanings:
1 - The men go work (they travel from a point to another in order to work)
2 - The men will work. (no movement here, just future)
3 - The men are going to work (leaves the same doubt as in Portguese, "present going" x "future working")
But "the men will go work" involves both movement and furute. So, in my opinion, it needs "ir" in the future tense: "Os homens irão trabalhar"
There's a famous advertising slogan in the UK, "Go to work on an egg". Here "work" works as a verb and a noun.
Because that would be «Os homens vão (ir) ao trabalho.» if you mean "work" as a noun and «Os homens vão (ir) para trabalhar.» if you mean it as a verb.
Are the phrases 'going to' and 'will' interchangeable in this tense? Finding this confusing. What is the rule I am missing?
I am having the same difficulty, Sue. It seems that both phrases are equally possible in an English translation. Can an expert give us some guidance please?
Many thanks Paulenrique. So, in this case both 'will' and 'going to ' would be acceptable translations in English. But going back to Sue 's question, are those two English phrases always interchangeable where the Portuguese is "ir + infinitive"?
Yes, they are. But you can also conjugate the verb directly in future tense, and you'll have the same meaning.