The future with ‘to be going to’

(Planning the future in English)

Table of contents – future with ‘to be going to’

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Use of the future with ‘to be going to’
  2. Forming the future with ‘to be going to’
  3. Further explanations and exercises

When is the future with ‘going to’ used?

In addition to other ways, the English future can be expressed with ‘to be going to’. This phrase differs from the future simple with ‘will’ in terms of its usage, which means in which situation or under which circumstances it is suitable. Especially the following cases require the use of ‘to be going to’:

  • The expression ‘to be going to’ is used for intentions to do something in the future whereas the decision for that action has already been made before the statement. As a consequence there is a plan:
    • “The new restaurant is so good. I’m going to eat a lot at the buffet.”
      • The speaker knows the restaurant; he is looking forward to it.
    • “We have checked the prices and it’s not so expensive. We’re going to fly to New Zealand.”
      • Price comparison has been done before. The trip is planned.
  • It is also utilized for predictions about the future if facts in the present indicate that future event:
    • “Look at that man! He is going to jump into the river.”
      • The way the man is acting indicates the jump.
    • “Oh, there are dark clouds coming up. It’s going to rain soon.”
      • The dark sky suggests an imminent storm.

What is the rule for forming ‘to be going to’?

First, the expression ‘to be going to’ is formed by conjugating the verb ‘to go’ in its continuous form. Second, you have to add the infinitive (base form) of the corresponding main verb (with additional ‘to’). In detail:

Rule for forming the future with ‘to be going to

Conjugated form of ‘to be’ + going + to + infinitive (base form of the verb)

Additional examples

  • “I am going to swim.”
  • “He is going to eat.”
  • “We are going to leave.”

Further explanations relating to ‘Going to’

The following explanations relate to the topic ‘Future with ‘to be going to’ (planning the future)’ and could also be interesting: