Be going to

From Teflpedia

Be going to do something often referred to as Going to is an English lexical-grammatical structure.


As a very commonly used multi-word verb form, in this case, a semi-auxiliary (i.e. it always needs a main verb, in this example, "make") to express future intention - I'm going to make a nice cup of tea.; also with future intention where a prediction is made based on evidence visible to the speaker Look at those clouds, it's going to rain, Look at that lady, she's going to have a baby; a warning You're driving too fast, you're going to kill us all!

  • to predict the future based on evidence in the present (Look at that cloud - we're going to get soaked!);
  • to make predictions about future events that are outside our control (I've spoken to them about it, but they're going to do whatever they want.)


The general form is:

  • "Subject is going to do something".

This follows the standard rules for making questions and negation.


Often pronounced "gonna".


This is less used in formal writing.


Confusion with diary future[edit]

Learners - and often teachers - are likely to confuse "going to" with uses of the diary future that use go. In going to, going must be followed by a verb; i.e. "going + to-infinitive". The diary future can use the form "going" followed by a prepositional phrase ("to + noun phrase"). Compare "I'm going to go to the movies tonight" (using going to) v. "I'm going to the movies tonight" (diary future).