How to use the Future tense with ‘be going to’

How to use the Future tense with ‘be going to’


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The simple future has two different forms in English: we use either ‘will‘ or ‘be+going to‘. Although they can be used in the same way, they often have a different meaning.

With a little practice their difference will seem clearer to you. Both options refer to a specific time in the future.

In this lesson we will focus on the simple future with be + going to

To see the first part (future with Will) click here.

1/ Construction

Be + going to + verb to the present tense

 Affirmative  Negative  Question
I amhe/she/it is
we/you/they are 

I am going to …

He is going to …

You are going to …

I am not going to …

He is not going to …

You are not going to …

Am I going to …?

He is going to …?

Are you going to …?

 

  • (+) You are going to wash the car.
  • (?) Are you going to wash the car ?
  • (-) You are not going to wash the car.

2/ Use of ‘be going to’

* To express an intention, an activity that you want to achieve or that is already underway:

  • I’m going to spend my hollydays in Italy.
  • She’s going to text him right now about the news.
  • Tom is going to break up with his girlfriend.
  • I wonder how he’s going to tell her the news.
  • She’s going to cry when she will know that.
  • They are going to travel around Canada.
  • Who are you going to invite to the barbecue ?

* To predict future events (you can also use’will’):

  • My wife is going to have a baby.
  • Don’t worry, the plane is not going to crash.
  • Look at the sky, it’s going to rain.
  • The next Star Wars movie is going to be awesome !

3/ Notes

⚠ About to

If the action is really imminent, we can use ‘to be + about to‘.

  • I’m about to leave soon, this party is too boring.
  • He’s about to cry.
  • I just saw Natalie at the club, I’m sure she’s about to cheat on her boyfriend.
  • Open the toilets! I’m about to puke !

⚠ Adverbs such as always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc. are placed before going to: 

  • You are never going to ask him.
  • Are you ever going to ask him ?

 

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