36 *Be going to

Be going to is not a tense, it is a structure. We use this structure for talking about the future, when we want to talk about intentions, plans and when there are clear signs that something is going to happen.

Affirmative

The structure of be going to in affirmative form is:
Subject + be + going + to + infinitive(verb)
.

With the verb to work it looks like this:

SUBJECT BE in personal form
GOING TO
INFINITIVE
I/You
He/She/It
We/You/They
am/are/is going to work

Negative

The structure of be going to in negative form is:
Subject + be + not + going + to + infinitive(verb).

With the verb to work it looks like this:

SUBJECT BE in personal form + NOT
GOING TO
INFINITIVE
I/You
He/She/It
We/You/They
am/are/is + not going to work

Interrogative

The structure of be going to in question form is:
Be + subject + going + to + infinitive(verb) + question mark(?).

BE in personal form
SUBJECT GOING TO
INFINITIVE Q.M.
Am/ Are/Is I/you
he/she/it
we/you/they
going to work …?
  1. Talking about intentions and future plans
    • I am going to London this weekend.
    • I am not going to London this weekend.
    • Am I going to London this weekend?
  2. We decide to do something in the future
    • When he grows up, he is going to be a pilot.
    • He is not going to be a pilot when he grows up, he is going to be a doctor.
    • Is he going to be a pilot when he grows up?
  3. There is definite sign that something is going to happen
    • Look at the sky. It is going to rain.
    • Look at the sky. It is not going to rain.
    • Look at the sky. Is it going to rain?

We use to be going to to talk about the future. We use it when:

  1. Talking about intentions and future plans;
  2. We decide to do something in the future;
  3. There is definite sign that something is going to happen.

 Be going to is not a tense, it is a structure. We use it for talking about the future, when we want to talk about intentions, plans and when there are clear signs that something is going to happen.

  • Affirmative: Subject + be + going + to + infinitive (verb);
  • Negative: Subject + be + not + going + to + infinitive(verb);
  • Interrogative: Be + subject + going + to + infinitive(verb) + question mark(?).

For example:
— Affirmative: “I am going to go to London in the summer.” = The subject has intentions of travelling to London in the summer.
Negative: “I am not going to become a doctor, I am going to be a pilot.” = The subject denies his intentions about the future.
Interrogative: Are you going to eat that cake?” = The subject is asked about their intentions about the future.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.