Future with 'Going to' in English Grammar

Future with 'Going to' in English Grammar

Anything after now is the future, and in English, we have many ways and tenses to talk about this tense. Some are more basic and some are more advanced.

Future with 'Going to' in English Grammar

Future with 'going to'

A common way to talk about the future in English is by using 'be going to'. Some argue that 'going to' is not a tense. It's just a phrase, an expression that we use to talk about plans and predictions in the future or in the past.

Future with 'going to': Structure

To construct the future tense with 'going to' use be going to + the base form of the verb.

She is going to visit her parents next weekend .

I'm going to take my son to the zoo .

Future with 'going to': Negation

For making a negative sentence use 'Subject pronoun + the verb "be" + "not going to" and the base form of the verb.

It's going to rain . → It's not going to rain .

They are going to the party . → They aren't going to the party .

Future with 'going to': Questions

To make yes/no questions, you have to bring the verb ‘to be’ to the beginning, followed by the subject, going to and the rest of the sentence. Take a look at this example:

He's going to buy a new car . → Is he going to buy a new car ?

To make wh- questions, you need wh- question words first. These words come at the beginning of the question right before verb ‘to be’ and the subject and 'going to' and the rest of the sentence. Take a look at the following example:

He's going to eat dinner at a restaurant . → Where is he going to eat dinner ?

Future with 'going to': Uses

'Be going to' is commonly used in informal situations. It has different uses:

Talking about Planned Situations

If we know in advance, that we're going to do something tomorrow, this weekend, next month, next year etc. that's planned.
We have two options of how to communicate that:

  1. using going to
  2. using present continuous tense

We use 'be going to' to talk about our future plans. Often we have already made up our minds about that plan and we are pretty certain that plan would happen.

I'm going to find a new job next month .

We need potatoes to make dinner . I'm going to buy some .

Talking about Predicting the Future

'Be going to' is used to predict something in the future that we know for sure it will happen.

The sky is getting darker . It's going to snow .

It's 3-0 . They are going to lose !

Giving Orders

In some informal situations, we can use 'be going to' to give orders to somebody (usually to a person younger than we) and say that something is necessary to be done.

You're going to do your homework right now . You have an exam tomorrow !

'Be Going to' with Other Tenses

We can use 'be going to' in other tenses as well, for example:

I was going to ask her out but I decided not to .

He'd been going to fix the car for ages .

Informal Form of Going to: Gonna

In spoken English and in informal situations, native speakers use 'gonna' instead of going to. Remember that it is not correct to use it in written form and formal situations.

This is gonna be a good day !

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