Verb Tenses: Future with Going to

FUTURE WITH GOING TO

1. Future with Going to - form

This form is composed of three elements: the appropriate form of the verb 'to be' + going to + the infinitive of the main verb:

Subject 'to be' going to infinitive

She

is

going to

leave

2. Future with Going to - function

The use of 'going to' to refer to future events suggests a very strong association with the present. The time is not important - it is later than now, but the attitude is that the event depends on a present situation, that we know about. So it is used:

  • to refer to our plans and intentions:
    We're going to move to London next year. (= the plan is in our minds now.)
  • to make predictions based on present evidence:
    Look at those clouds - it's going to pour with rain! (= It's clear from what I can see now.)

Note: In everyday speech, 'going to' is often shortened to 'gonna', especially in American English.

Plans and intentions:

  • Is Freddy going to buy a new car soon?
  • Are John and Pam going to visit Milan when they are in Italy?
  • I think Nigel and Mary are going to have a party next week.

Predictions based on present evidence:

  • There's going to be a terrible accident!
  • He's going to be a brilliant politician.
  • I'm going to have terrible indigestion.

NOTE: It is unusual to say 'I'm going to go to...'
Instead, we use 'going to' + a place or event:

Examples

  • We are going to the beach tomorrow.
  • She is going to the ballet tonight.
  • Are you going to the party tomorrow night?