Unit 2.2

Be going to

Introduction

Be going to is a structure that refers to the future.

Form

To be going to has three forms: affirmative, negative and interrogative.

Affirmative

To be going to, in the affirmative form, has this structure:
Subject + to be + going to + verb + …

SUBJECT TO BE GOING TO VERB
I am going to work
You are going to work
He is going to work
She is going to work
It is going to work
We are going to work
You are going to work
They are going to work
  • Short form of the affirmative form is the same as the short form of to be: I’m – you’re – he’s…

Negative

To be going to, in the negative form, has this structure:
Subject + to be + not + going to + verb + …

SUBJECT TO BE + NOT GOING TO VERB
I am not going to work
You are not going to work
He is not going to work
She is not going to work
It is not going to work
We are not going to work
You are not going to work
They are not going to work
  • Short form of the negative form is the same as the short form of to be: I’m not – you’re not/you aren’t – he’s not/he isn’t…

Interrogative

To be going to, in the interrogative form, has this structure:
To be + subject + going to + verb + …?

TO BE SUBJECT GOING TO VERB QUESTION
MARK
Am I going to work ?
Are you going to work ?
Is he going to work ?
Is she going to work ?
Is it going to work ?
Are we going to work ?
Are you going to work ?
Are they going to work ?

Example

  • I am going to talk to the boss!
  • You are going to work as a babysitter.
  • She is not going to meet with the client.
  • The profit is low. We are going to go bankrupt.
  • Look at the statistics. It is going to be a successful marketing campaign.
  • You are going to win that contest. 
  • They are going to have a baby in 2022.

Use

We use the future with the be going to structure to talk, deny or ask about:

  • commands (affirmative and negative forms);
  • predictions (based on signs we see at the moment);
  • things that are about to happen (that we are sure about).

Summary

We can use be going to to express commands, predictions and things that are about to happen.

For example:
— “I am going to work on an important project next month.” = We use be going to to show the speaker’s intention of working on an important project, but it is not arranged yet.
♦ “I am working on an important project next month.” = We use present continuous for future to show that it is already arranged that the speaker will work on an important project.

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

More exercises

Exercises

External link to Be going to exercises (73).